Diabetes may start in the intestines, research suggests

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have made a surprising discovery about the origin of diabetes. Their research suggests that problems controlling blood sugar — the hallmark of diabetes — may begin in the intestines. The new study, in mice, may upend long-held theories about the causes of the disease.

Genetic variant linked to blocked heart arteries in patients with diabetes

Researchers have identified the first genetic variant associated with severity of coronary artery disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. Though this variant is not likely the cause of more severe coronary disease, the researchers say, it implicates a gene that could be. Such a gene has promise as a future target for treating coronary artery disease in diabetic patients.

Washington People: Douglas L. Mann

Though some cardiologists may have dabbled in musical pursuits from an early age, few have opened for Aerosmith. How does one who dropped out of college to play drums and follow dreams of being a professional musician end up chief of cardiology at a major medical school? “I needed a day job,” says Douglas L. Mann, MD. Today, Mann studies inflammation and its role in heart failure.

Belly fat may drive inflammatory processes associated with disease

An abdominal MRI scan showing the locations of subcutaneous and visceral fatAs scientists learn more about the key role of inflammation in diabetes, heart disease and other disorders, new research from the School of Medicine suggests that fat in the belly may be an important promoter of that inflammation. It’s well known that excess fat is associated with disease, but the researchers have confirmed that fat cells inside the abdomen are secreting molecules that increase inflammation. It’s the first evidence of a potential mechanistic link between abdominal fat and systemic inflammation.

Belly fat may drive inflammatory processes associated with disease

An abdominal MRI scan showing the locations of subcutaneous and visceral fatAs scientists learn more about the key role of inflammation in diabetes, heart disease and other disorders, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that fat in the belly may be an important promoter of that inflammation. It’s well known that excess fat is associated with disease, but the researchers have confirmed that fat cells inside the abdomen are secreting molecules that increase inflammation. It’s the first evidence of a potential mechanistic link between abdominal fat and systemic inflammation. More…

Gene chip technology may identify life-threatening blood infection

Right now there’s no rapid way to diagnose sepsis, a fast-moving blood infection that is a leading cause of death in hospital intensive care units. Doctors who suspect sepsis typically rush to prescribe powerful antibiotics, but this can lead to the inappropriate treatment of patients with uncontrollable inflammation without an underlying infection. New research at the School of Medicine suggests that doctors one day could quickly distinguish sepsis from widespread non-infectious inflammation based on genetic profiles of patients’ blood.

Gene chip technology shows potential for identifying life-threatening blood infection

Right now there’s no rapid way to diagnose sepsis, a fast-moving blood infection that is a leading cause of death in hospital intensive care units. Doctors who suspect sepsis typically rush to prescribe powerful antibiotics, but this can lead to the inappropriate treatment of patients with uncontrollable inflammation without an underlying infection. New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that doctors one day could quickly distinguish sepsis from widespread non-infectious inflammation based on genetic profiles of patients’ blood.