Precision Diabetes Is Slowly Becoming a Reality
The concept of precision medicine is becoming increasingly popular. The use of big data, genomics and other “omics” like metabolomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics could make the dream of personalized medicine become a reality in the near future. As far as polygenic forms of diabetes like type 2 and type 1 diabetes are concerned, interesting leads are emerging, but precision diabetes is still in its infancy.

However, with regard to monogenic forms of diabetes like maturity-onset diabetes of the young and neonatal diabetes mellitus, rapid strides have been made and precision diabetes has already become part of the clinical tools used at advanced diabetes centers. In patients with some monogenic form of diabetes, if the appropriate gene defects are identified, insulin injections can be stopped and be replaced by oral sulphonylurea drugs. In the coming years, rapid advances can be expected in the field of precision diabetes, thereby making the control of diabetes more effective and hopefully leading to the prevention of its complications and improvement of the quality of life of people afflicted with diabetes.

Significance of the Study:

Till recently, a “one-size-fits-all” approach was used to treat most forms of diabetes. With the availability of big data and analytic tools like genomics, epigenetics, metabolomics, and proteomics, precision diabetes is now slowly becoming a reality. Precision diabetes is already being applied to monogenic forms of diabetes like maturity-onset diabetes of the young, neonatal diabetes mellitus and congenital hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycemia. In many such cases, this can be a life-changer, as insulin can be stopped completely and be replaced with oral glucose-lowering agents. In other forms of diabetes like type 2 diabetes, precision diabetes promises to be of use in personalized therapy for people affected with the disorder.

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