ANCHOR LEAD: CAN PREDIABETES BE DIAGNOSED ACCURATELY? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Prediabetes is a condition of impaired glucose metabolism somewhere on the path to frank diabetes. Now a Johns Hopkins team led by Gerald Hart, director of biological chemistry, has found that an enzyme called O-GlcNAcase, is elevated and detectable in the red blood cells of people with the condition.
HART: We tested a number of samples from NIH which were defined as normal, prediabetic and diabetic and we also tested a number of samples from the diabetes center here at Hopkins. The number of samples we’ve tested is still small but it looks very promising that this could lead to the development of a diagnostic tool for the earliest stages of diabetes. The value of that of course is if you can detect the disease early enough you could get people to change their lifestyle and eating habits and you can actually prevent it. :32
Hart and many others believe that a test for the enzyme could be developed and easily administered right in the doctor’s office. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.