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November 16, 1984

Abnormal insulin molecules: an alternative cause of diabetes?

JAMA. 1984;252(19):2669-2673. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350190001001

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"Diabetes i^iabetes is a heterogeneous group of disorders. It's already quite clear that we cannot diagnose it as one condition, but clearly there are multiple factors and causes which all can give rise to the common end point of hyperglycemia."

So says Arthur H. Rubenstein, MD, Lowell T. Coggeshall Professor of Medical Sciences and chair of medicine at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, who spoke at the AMA's recent Third Annual Conference for Science Writers in Chicago. According to Rubenstein, the present characterization of diabetes into type I and type II is too simplistic: "We now are beginning to dissect out numerous causes."

"We now are beginning to dissect out numerous causes."  Besides autoimmunity or insulin resistance, possible causes suggested by work in the past two or three years include abnormal insulins and insulin precursors, circulating antibodies that bind insulin, and circulating antagonists that impair the action