Sumary of Diabetes in mothers can cause permanent damage, birth defects to fetus: Study:
- A study has found that maternal diabetes, even when controlled with insulin and blood sugar levels are kept mostly in check, can cause permanent damage to the fetus.
- More than 3 million women of birthing age in the US and 60 million in the world have diabetes – a disease that occurs when blood sugar is too high.
- About 3,00,000 to 4,00,000 fetuses per year from mothers with diabetes develop neural tube defects – when the tissue that eventually forms the brain and spinal cord fails to form properly – which can lead to miscarriage or profound disability.
- Using studies in mice, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers have identified the mechanism behind these structural birth defects, which they say is due to the neural tissue ageing prematurely, halting its growth before it has made enough cells to finish forming the neural tube.
- The study was conducted by the UMSOM Centre for Birth Defects Research, led by Peixin Yang, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences, Director of the Centre for Birth Defects Research, and Vice-Chair of Research in the Department, and E.
- “Although diabetes is a disease generally associated with an older population, the modern diabetes epidemic in young people is largely fuelled by obesity and inactivity.
- At the same time, many ageing-related diseases are impacted by diabetes, and we now know that high blood glucose seems to induce or enhance premature embryonic ageing,” said Dr Yang.
- “For many decades, our hypothesis was that premature ageing, known as senescence, was occurring in the fetuses of mothers with diabetes, and was, in part, inducing these birth defects.