Early detection of the risk of gestational diabetes
Minimum 5.000 euros
 
 
 
5.737 out of 30.000 eurosRemaining 10 days

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The project
Who is behind

What is our goal?

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as the presence of high blood glucose levels during pregnancy in previously healthy women, which can lead to significant metabolic complications for the mother and the offspring, both in the short and long term. Its prevalence is increasing since approximately 7-15% of all pregnancies are complicated by GDM.

Particularly, GDM has been associated with substantial adverse health outcomes for both mothers, who have considerably elevated risk for impaired type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) in the years following pregnancy, and the offspring, who are more likely to develop macrosomia and prematurity, as well as an increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood. Among the risk factors which predispose to gestational diabetes development, those related to lifestyle are especially important, mainly sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet.

One of the main problems is that GDM is usually diagnosed at 24–28 gestational weeks, according to the recommendations of international associations and committees, when the pathology is already established. Therefore, it is necessary an early identification of the risk of gestational diabetes, which allows to modify, as soon as possible, the lifestyle (food, physical activity), to reduce the progression of the disease and minimize the adverse consequences for the mother and fetus.

Our main objective is the development of an early prediction tool for the risk of GDM, based on based on epigenetic biomarkers and lifestyle variables (food, physical activity) using artificial intelligence techniques.

In this study, we aim to develop and validate a tool that allows us to predict the risk of gestational diabetes as soon as possible, for instance, in the first gestational trimester. This tool is based on the analysis of a type of epigenetic biomarkers, called microRNAs, that circulate in blood and are shared by the mother and fetus through the blood-placental barrier. These biomarkers have a great value for early prediction of the risk of GDM, as they are systematically modified in women who subsequently develop GDM even before clinical changes in blood glucose levels can be detected. Since microRNAs are also modified by lifestyle, both sources of information will allow us to optimize the predictive capacity of the tool, which will be develop by artificial intelligence techniques.

Who will benefit from our project?

GDM has been associated with substantial adverse health outcomes for both mothers and the baby. The overall incidence of GDM is increasing worldwide, affecting approximately 7–15% of all pregnancies. This is a serious public health problem, not only because of some negative effects for mother’s and baby’s health during pregnancy and birth, but, especially, in the long term, due to the elevated risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity.

At the same time as there is a progressive aging of the population and the birth rate decreases, the prevalence of overweight and obesity increases, as well as the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, diabetes prevention during pregnancy could reduce immediate complications for mothers and offspring and avoid the long-term risk, with a huge socioeconomic impact on public health.

Nowadays, GDM diagnose takes place at 24–28 gestational weeks, according to the recommendations of international associations and committees, when the pathology is already established. For this reason, an early identification of the risk of gestational diabetes is necessary to allow some lifestyle modifications (diet, physical activity) as soon as possible to slow the progression of the disease and minimize the adverse consequences for the mother and the baby.

What will you achieve with your donation?

The minimum objective is 5,000 euros and the optimum is 30,000 euros. The minimum amount is intended to cover the cost of consumables, mainly laboratory reagents. This will allow us to start carrying out the experiments to study circulating microRNAs in blood samples from pregnant women, which will be collected during the routine monitoring of their pregnancy. If the optimal amount is achieved, the money will be invested in hiring a full-time researcher for one year to dedicate exclusively to this research project. If the optimal target is exceeded, recruitment would be prolonged and more pregnant women would be screened, increasing the project's chances of success.

Do you want more information?

Group articles related to the Project (in English, free access):

-Circulating microRNAs as modificable diagnostic biomarkers of gestational and transgenerational metabolic risk: can exercise play a role?

http://ncri.amegroups.com/article/view/5284/html

-Review about circulating microRNAs as biomarkers of response to exercise: https://journals.lww.com/acsmessr/fulltext/2018/07000/Circulating_microRNA_as_Emerging_Biomarkers_of.5.aspx

-Review about maternal-child epigenetic legacy mediated by microRNAs: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043661815001851?via%3Dihub

- Review about the presence of microRNA in human milk and its role in the growth and development of the offspring: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S104366181830183X?via%3Dihub

You can also follow us both in our group account @ITSalud and in the account of the exercise network “In motu salus” that we coordinate, @inmotusalu. In addition, on the web https://www.unioviedo.es/inmotusalus/ you can see not only what we do, but also what the rest of the researchers on the Network do.  

Abaout Precipita
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