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Horm Res. 2007;67(2):77-83. Epub 2006 Oct 17.

Neonatal diabetes: how research unravelling the genetic puzzle has both widened our understanding of pancreatic development whilst improving children's quality of life.

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University of Bristol and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK.


It has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that the seemingly ubiquitous auto-immune aetiology to pre-pubertal diabetes does not apply to those diagnosed under 6 months of age. In this age group, disease appears, in the vast majority of cases, to be conferred by single gene disorders mainly related to pancreatic development. The unravelling of these disorders has resulted in a far greater understanding of pancreatic development and some startling changes in treatment, resulting in improved quality of life and diabetes control. The progress made in our scientific and clinical understanding of these extremely rare diseases is a perfect example of how studying seemingly rare illnesses can improve our overall knowledge of much more common conditions.

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