The objective of this research is to gain a greater understanding of the cause of fasting and postprandial hyperglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes. Endogenous glucose production is excessive before eating and fails to appropriately suppress after eating in people with type 2 diabetes. This is due in part to impaired insulin-induced suppression of endogenous glucose production, which is observed early in the evolution of type 2 diabetes. Increased rates of gluconeogenesis and perhaps glycogenolysis contribute to hepatic insulin resistance. Insulin-induced stimulation of hepatic glucose uptake and hepatic glycogen synthesis are reduced in people with type 2 diabetes primarily due to decreased uptake of extracellular glucose presumably because of inadequate activation of hepatic glucokinase. Delayed insulin secretion results in higher peak glucose concentrations particularly when suppression of glucagon is impaired, whereas insulin resistance prolongs the duration of hyperglycemia, which can be marked when both hepatic and extra-hepatic insulin resistance are present.
The premise of these studies, as well as those performed by many other investigators, is that an understanding of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes will enable the development of targeted therapies that are directed toward correcting specific metabolic defects in a given individual. I, as well as many other investigators, believe that such therapies are likely to be more effective and to have a lower risk than would occur if everyone were treated the same regardless of the underlying cause of their hyperglycemia. While we do not yet have sufficient knowledge to truly individualize therapy, in my opinion this approach will be the norm in the not too distant future.
- © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.
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