Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) is a type of diabetes. Diabetes is a type of metabolic disorder in which the levels of blood sugar (glucose) are elevated. Diabetes is caused due to an absolute or relative deficiency of insulin (lack of insulin or the resistance of the cells to insulin). Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, which allows the cells in the body to use glucose in the blood for energy. This keeps the blood glucose under control. Lack of insulin (absolute or resistance of the cells to insulin) prevents the right amount of glucose from entering the cells. This causes glucose to build up in your blood resulting in hyperglycemia (high levels of glucose in the blood).
MODY affects one to two per cent of people with diabetes, but it often goes unrecognised or undiagnosed in many patients and the person may be treated as Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes by their doctors. The main features of MODY are:
MODY is caused due to monogenetic defects in beta-cell function of the pancreas (these cells secrete insulin). There are several forms of Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young: MODY 1 to 6. Each is caused by a single gene not working correctly unlike Type 2 diabetes in which minor problems in several genes at one time causes diabetes. MODY-2 and MODY-3 are common variants of MODY.
Currently, there is a great interest in MODY as it has a genetic basis. Scientists are trying to understand the gene defect and the mechanisms causing diabetes as it can provide insights into potential treatments for diabetes.
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