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BATON ROUGE, LA - Pennington Biomedical Research Center announced today that it will conduct a new clinical trial to determine if a mother's health during pregnancy plays a part in her children developing type 2 diabetes.
This study is looking at siblings with the same mother and father who were raised together and are now young adults. Previous studies have shown that people who have family members with diabetes have a higher risk of developing the disease themselves, but the reasons why are unclear. One link may be whether the mother had diabetes during her pregnancy. This study, called EXPOSURE: Metabolic Traits of Adult Sib-Pairs Discordant for Intrauterine Diabetes Exposure, is open to adult sibling pairs whose mother had gestational diabetes with one but not the other sibling.
The principal investigator of EXPOSURE, which is funded by Pennington Biomedical's Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), is Darcy Johannsen, Ph.D., assistant professor of research in the John S. McIlhenny Skeletal Muscle Physiology Laboratory.
"Many researchers believe that the nutritional environment within the uterus 'programs' the metabolism of the baby, contributing to the risk of developing diabetes and other chronic conditions such as obesity in adulthood. However, until now, we have not been able to separate the effect of the uterine environment from genetic inheritance or lifestyle factors. The unique design of this study will help us to determine if adult metabolism is affected independently by the uterine environment to which they were exposed. Results could have a significant impact on the importance of controlling excess weight gain and blood sugar levels during pregnancy," says Johannsen.
The study will require participants to complete a screening visit to determine eligibility. Participants are also required to have a 32-hour stay in the inpatient clinic and will receive up to $300 for participation.
The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical’s more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.