Nitasha Bakhru, M.D., the Wireless Health Scholar at Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) and an Endocrinology Fellow at Scripps Clinic, will soon begin a pilot study that will use continuous glucose monitoring to evaluate the effects of hyperglycemia and glycemic variability (GV) on epigenetic markers of pro-atherogenic gene expression in type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Bakhru will monitor type 1 diabetics and healthy individuals (“controls”) via a palm-sized glucose sensor device that has a wire whose width equals two human hairs and that goes just under the patient’s skin
This study, which encompasses the West Wireless Health Institute as well as STSI and the Scripps Clinic, may help determine the impact of glycemic variability on an individual’s “epigenetic signature”.
Numerous clinical trials have underscored the health benefits of maintaining blood glucose within a certain range in order to prevent diabetes-related complications such as retinopathy and nephropathy. However, few have examined the effects of marked glycemic variability on surrogate markers of such complications. Dr. Bakhru’s study is designed to determine whether these and other epigenetic changes occur in human patients with type 1 diabetes. Demonstration of epigenetic modifications resulting from glycemic variability may prompt clinicians to evaluate glycemic variability as well as mean glycemia (hemoglobin A1c) in their patients with type 1 diabetes.