Neonatal diabetes rearing its ugly head in India
MUMBAI: Six-month-old Ishaan ( name changed) is administered two insulin shots every day, to keep his blood sugar levels in check. His Mumbai-based parents, who are not diabetics, wonder how their child got the disease. Ishaan’s doctors initially suspected he had type-I diabetes, a condition common in children and young adults, but recently they discovered that a mutation in his gene has resulted in him suffering from a condition called neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM).
The reported incidence of NDM across the world varies from 1 in 89,000 to 1 in 4 lakh live births and could be higher in communities where consanguineous (blood-related) marriages happen. There are 26 l akh l ive births in India, but only 181 children are registered at Neonatal Data Registry, which is sup- ported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“T here i s no s t udy on NDM prevalence in India, but hospital- based studies show it to be 1 in 125 type- 1 diabetes patients,” said Dr V Mohan, chairman and chief diabologist at Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre (MDRF), Chennai, which runs India’s only Neonatal Data Registry. “There are no reports on region- specific high incidence o f NDM in India and we have been getting cases from all over India uniformly, but it could be higher in families where there is consanguinity.”
While a majority of children detected with NDM have mutations in KCNJ11 and ABCC8 genes, Ishaan’s is the first recorded Indian case of NDM caused by a mutation in PDX1 gene, said his doctor, paediatric endocrinologist Dr Abhishek Kulkarni.
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