Tuesday, June 14, 2011

High prevalence of Diabetes in Ghana: a possible cure in the near future

Diabetes (mellitus) represents one of the non-infectious diseases with high prevalence in Ghana. It is a metabolic disease that affects glucose homeostasis, which simply means that the control of the level of glucose in the blood during the hours when we are well-fed and starving is defective. Normally, the body acts through the hormone insulin to store excess glucose when we are well-fed and then cause a slow releasing when starving. This balance is tightly control to ensure that glucose levels are maintained.
Diabetes occurs in two forms, one is when the production of insulin is affected and two when the insulin is produced alright but it fails to achieve the desire effect. The cure for diabetes is much sought after due to the high prevalence the world over and especially in Ghana.

Recent scientific discoveries may open up the possibility for a cure for the type two diabetes, which will save a lot of lives in Ghana and worldwide. For the first time scientist have found out exactly what happens in the case of type two diabetes in the sufferers body before the disease becomes life-threatening. The receptor-insensitivity to insulin that occurs in this case, is a result of the body's inability to properly maintain these receptors on the surface on the various tissues.
This profound discovery was recently published by scientist working for three institutions in Europe and America they are Regulus Therapeutics Inc, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals  and the ETH-Zurich. They have clearly demonstrated that the presence of a tiny molecules in the body of sufferers of Diabetes causes the instability of the insulin-receptor leading to receptor-insensitivity. Whilst this breakthrough discovery does not represent a cure in itself. scientists can now look for ways to shutdown these rather "tiny molecules" and allow the insulin-receptor to be stable and for levels to return to normal.
This is a powerful demonstration of how the pursuit science can lead to solving of humanities many unsolved problems. The youth in Ghana must be encouraged to choose and pursue science for the reason of science and the economic and social benefit will follow.

Diabetes is a global problem with devastating human, social and economic impact. Today, around 250 million people worldwide are living with Diabetes and by 2025 this total is expected to increase to over 380 million. (Hossain et al. NEJM 2007 - www.worlddiabetesday.org)

Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed to learn the root cause of diabetes. Honestly Sir, I am inspired to do research that may aid in solving some health problems in Ghana. I have also learned that in as much as you have a very tight schedule, you make it to be abreast with your discoveries. I am really glad to learn a lot through this article in particular