University of Manchester Logo In congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) the body’s pancreas may produce too much insulin, whereas among diabetes patients it is completely opposite. While understanding CHI, University of Manchester scientists laid hands on new treatments for diabetes mellitus. The research findings apparently have major implications in the health zone.

The investigation was carried out at the two referral centres for hyperinsulinism in the UK. Researchers revealed the way these gene defects give rise to uncontrolled insulin release in patients. For this, cells from patients who were previously subjected to a surgery were examined. CHI apparently leads to dangerously low blood sugar levels that can further cause convulsions along with brain damage if not treated promptly. This complex condition is probably triggered by gene defects that keep the insulin-producing cells switched on when they should be switched off.

“In healthy insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, a small group of proteins act as switches and regulate how much insulin is released,” said Dr Karen Cosgrove, who led the research. “When these proteins fail to function the cells can either release too little insulin – resulting in diabetes mellitus, or too much insulin – leading to congenital hyperinsulinism.”

The currently available drug treatments for CHI supposedly fail in the most severe forms of the disease and the patient has to have some, or most, of their pancreas removed. Experts pointed out that treating cells under specially modified conditions can help to recover the function of internal switches that control insulin release. It was concluded that gene defects can be purportedly reversed in human insulin-producing cells.

The research is published in the journal Diabetes