If the mother is diabetic then the fetus is also at risk, despite keeping blood sugar control, neural tube defects occur in children
The increased risk and side effects of diabetes due to modern lifestyle remain a cause for concern. Now a new study has found that even if mothers are diabetic and blood sugar levels are kept under control by controlling insulin, there may be permanent damage to the fetus. The findings of the study have been published in the journal 'Science Advances'.
Let us tell you that around 60 million women suffering from diabetes become mothers annually worldwide. Of these, three to four lakh fetuses have a malformation of the neural tube defect due to the mother being diabetic. Due to this, the brain and spine of the fetus do not develop properly. This also increases the risk of miscarriage or severe disability in children.
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have studied mouse models to find out the causes of these congenital malformations. According to them, premature aging of the neural tissue occurs, due to which enough cells to form the neural tube are stopped.
Professor Pexin Yang, from the UMSOM Center for Birth Defects Research, who led the study, said diabetes is generally considered a disease of the elderly. But at this time this disease is spreading like an epidemic due to the lack of physical labor in addition to obesity among the youth. It also causes many other diseases related to aging. We now also know that high blood glucose induces or accelerates premature aging in fetuses as well.
He said that although it has been said for decades that due to diabetic mothers, premature aging occurs in the fetus, due to which the children are suffering from congenital malformations. But recently, we have got the tools and technology to test this concretely.
Knowing the process can prevent distortions
The advantage of being aware of the entire process of fetal malformations due to mothers being diabetic will pave the way for finding ways to prevent them.
In the study, researchers used a cancer drug to slow down the process of tissue aging, which led to the full development of neural tubes in diabetic rat embryos.
Based on this finding, accurate therapy can be developed to prevent miscarriage or many types of congenital malformations in children.
How to find out if there is a defect in the fetus
Researchers previously found markers of premature aging in eight-day-old rat babies with diabetes. Whereas these markers were not found in children of those who did not have diabetes. It was also found that cells that had premature aging markers secreted large amounts of chemicals that destroy nearby cells.
In the next phase of research, a cancer drug rapamycin was given to children born to diabetic mothers. This medication is used to inhibit the secretion or signaling of toxic chemicals from premature aging cells. It was then found that the neural tube developed fully when rapamycin was given. It was like a baby born to a healthy mother. From this it was revealed that with this drug the aging cells start behaving normally. But unfortunately, a lot of other cells were also affected by rapamycin. Therefore, this drug may not be suitable for the prevention of malformations of the neural tube. Some other treatment option will have to be found.