Doctors can now attempt to prescribe better diabetes management regimes for patients at high risk of developing allied kidney ailments. A team of researchers have identified an important biomarker, whose timely detection could delay the onset of kidney-related complications among such patients.
Teams from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), along with Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, collaborated on this project. As part of the study, over 500 people were screened and their urinary Asymmetric to Symmetric dimethylarginine Ratio (ASR), the bio-marker linked to kidney functioning, was calculated.
“While this bio-maker showcased normal values among most patients, among those suffering from compromised kidney functioning, this ratio was found to dramatically drop from the normal values. This is the first time such a biomarker has been found and its detecting process developed for Asian-Indians,” said Venkateswarlu Panchagnula, one of the team members from NCL.
This timely detection, researchers say, can postpone the onset of a medical condition termed Diabetes Nephropathy (DN), commonly afflicting patients suffering from Type II diabetes. “Often, DN remains undetected till the kidney functioning of Asian Indians deteriorates. Timely detection of this biomarker can help clinicians prescribe better diabetes management treatment to potentially high-risk patients,” he added.
The study, published in the Scientific Reports of Nature Publishing Group, also mentions that the Asian Indian population is more prone to DN and with time, develop resistance to insulin.
Even though there are tests presently practised in medical laboratories that attempt to track kidney functioning and DN, this biomarker was not known till date. Besides, researchers say the present-day tests reveal about the kidney condition only once it reaches acute stage.
Along with the detection of biomarker, it was also the maiden attempt to use Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption / Ionization Mass Spectroscopy (MALDI MS) for carrying out this process of tests. For the teams’s attempt, they had bagged a US patent in 2018. “MALDI is used in some tests… for cancer. But, this process was never applied for diabetes earlier,” added the NCL scientist.
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