Volunteers sought for study of muscle, aging, insulin resistance

SAN ANTONIO (May 14, 2008)—Why do insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes increase with age? The answer may be found in the biochemical makeup of the muscles.

A three-year research study by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio seeks volunteers ages 18-30 and 65 and older to compare levels of a protein called NFkB (NF-kappa-B). Volunteers must not be diabetic.

Principal investigator Nicolas Musi, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Diabetes and member of the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the UT Health Science Center, is conducting the study at the Texas Diabetes Institute.

NFkB stimulates genes that impair muscle function and metabolism. “We believe that the older person has too much of this protein and that this is bad for insulin sensitivity,” Dr. Musi said.

Less-efficient response to insulin over time may contribute to development of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers also want to determine whether exercise can reverse the problem in the older population by lowering the amount of NFkB in muscle cells.

Prospective study participants may call the Texas Diabetes Institute clinical research unit at (210) 358-7200. The National Institute on Aging and the American Federation for Aging Research are funding this research study.

About the UT Health Science Center San Antonio:

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.

About the Texas Diabetes Institute:

The Texas Diabetes Institute (TDI) is located in the University Center for Community Health, a University Health System facility on San Antonio’s West Side. The TDI offers comprehensive endocrinology, ophthalmology, nephrology and other areas of care for diabetic patients as well as clinical research studies of innovative diabetes treatments. For more information, visit <ahref=http: www.texasdiabetesinstitute.com=””>www.texasdiabetesinstitute.com.

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