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Opinions of Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Columnist: Arthur, Patrick Kobina

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.

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Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),
parthur14@gmail.com
http://pakar1-corner.blogspot.com/