Washington DC: A team of scientists has discovered a molecular link between psychiatric disorders and type 2 diabetes.
The University of Massachusetts scientists show that a gene called "DISC1," which is believed to play a role in mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and some forms of depression, influences the function of pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels.
Studies exploring the biology of disease have increasingly identified the involvement of unanticipated proteins DISC1 fits this category, said researcher Rita Bortell, adding that they hope that their findings may uncover mechanisms to improve therapies, even preventative ones, to alleviate suffering caused by both illnesses which are extraordinarily costly, very common, often quite debilitating.
The connections between these disorders may be surprising, but we have known for a long time that a single protein or gene can play multiple roles in the body, said Thoru Pederson, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.
The study is published in The FASEB Journal.