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Production Assistant, Diabetes In Control

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International Textbook of Diabetes Mellitus, 4th Ed., Excerpt #170: Molecular Genetics of Type 1 Diabetes Part 7

Clinical utility of T1DM susceptibility genes: One of the goals of genetic studies of complex disease is to identify a profile of susceptibility variants that can be used to predict an individual’s risk of developing a given disease. The long prodrome for T1DM, characterized by progressive loss of beta-cell mass, provides an attractive opportunity for intervention to prevent disease development if “at-risk” individuals can be identified. Currently the best markers of disease risk are a positive family history of T1DM and the presence of autoantibodies to islet cell proteins. Over 90% of T1DM patients have no affected relatives, however, so effective preventive efforts will need to target the general population. Unfortunately screening such huge numbers of individuals for islet autoantibodies is logistically unfeasible, particularly given the need for repeated annual testing for those with a negative result. Genetic markers are therefore needed to stratify risk in the general population,

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