NEW DELHI: In a groundbreaking study, scientists at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi have described a new type of diabetes they term as “Diabetes Type 4”. The lead Scientist in this Research is the highly acclaimed Kashmiri clinical researcher Dr Muneeb Faiq.
According to Dr Muneeb Faiq and his team, this diabetes is uniquely different from the one accompanied with high blood glucose levels because it afflicts the brain and ocular tissues specifically.
Pertinent to mention, Dr Faiq’s research group was the first group in the world to describe the retinoic acid mediated mechanism of brain defects in new born children due to Zika virus infection. Diabetes type 1 and 2 are accompanied with high levels of glucose in the blood but according to these scientists Diabetes Type 3 (Alzheimer’s disease) and Diabetes type 4 (glaucoma) is restricted to brain and ocular tissues respectively.
Interestingly enough, Dr Faiq and his team has also made a case for Parkinson’s disease to be referred to as diabetes type 5.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness with more than 65 million sufferers worldwide. It is accompanied with severe compromise in quality of life, stress, depression, higher propensity to accidents and cognitive deficit in addition to huge economic burden.
There is no cure for this malady and the only treatment currently available is lowering of eye pressure with medicines and/or surgery. The disease continues to progress even after controlling pressure inside the eyes. That is why this disorder is also called “Sneak thief of sight”.
With a view of developing an effective remedy for glaucoma, scientists are busy in cutting edge research to know the nature and pathogenesis of this disorder. But, as of now, no effective theory to cover all the aspects of this disease has been found.
The research carried out by Dr Faiq is likely to satisfy this long sought goal which may ultimately help in developing an effective cure. Their findings have opened new doors towards understanding glaucomatous vision loss and immediately suggest measures for prevention and effective treatment.
The discovery of glaucoma being Diabetes Type 4 is likely to make a paradigm shift in the understanding of this disorder and identifies brain as the potential diagnostic and therapeutic target in glaucoma. In the light of this discovery, insulin therapy (restoration of insulin signalling) is a promising therapeutic intervention in glaucoma as well as in Alzheimer’s disease and possibly Parkinson’s disease.
Pertinently, Dr Muneeb Faiq was awarded for his research on wound healing in glaucoma surgery at the 8th International Congress on Glaucoma Surgery held in Muscat in February last year.
In May 2016, his research on functional genomics of glaucoma was adjudged as most innovative research on vision sciences at the annual meeting of Association of Research on Vision and Ophthalmology held in Washington, USA. (CNS)