Diabetes comes in many forms, one of which is Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young, or MODY. This type of diabetes is more likely to be inherited than other types of diabetes, due to a stronger genetic risk factor.
MODY is sometimes compared to type 2 diabetes, and shares some type 2 diabetes symptoms. However, MODY is not linked to obesity, and typical MODY patients are young and not necessarily overweight.
What is MODY diabetes?
Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young affects approximately one or two per cent of people who have diabetes, and may often go unrecognized in its early stages.
It is a form of diabetes that develops before the patient reaches 25.
It also runs in families, and can pass from one generation to the next. MODY does not always require insulin treatment.
Why is MODY inherited so easily?
MODY is directly caused by the change in a single gene, and all children of an affected parent have a 50 per cent chance of inheriting this gene, and consequently developing MODY themselves.
Why does MODY differ from other strains of diabetes, why does it matter?
Knowing and understanding MODY and even the different forms of MODY (six types have been identified), means that the affected person can be treated in the most appropriate way possible.
Advice can also be provided about how the disease will progress, and what complications can be expected. Furthermore, other family members can be advised about the risks of inheriting the disease.
What are the different types of MODY?
The most common MODY type is HNF1 alpha. This is responsible for 70% of MODY.
The amount of insulin produced by the pancreas becomes less as the person gets older, and MODY develops during adolescence or the early twenties.