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Re: [IPk] Re: We're new to all this...


No one is trying to tell you that there are no genetic factors in the 
development of type 1. Perhaps some of us took your use of the word 
'hereditary' in a more deterministic 'if one person in a family has it, 
everyone must have it'--perhaps even 'type 2-esque'--way than you might have 
intended it. Of course some genetic predisposition to type 1 is inherited or 
type 1 would result only from internal injuries sustained in car accidents 
or from damage done by specific diseases of the pancreas, etc.

However, type 1 is NOT hereditary in the same way that many other 
'hereditary' traits like eye color and hair color are. There's more to it 
than the normal interplay of dominant and recessive genes that resulted in 
me being blonde and blue-eyed like my mom in spite of my dad's brown eyes 
and brown hair. Sets of identical twins in which one twin has diabetes and 
the other does not suggest powerfully that some environmental or viral 
trigger 'trips' whatever genetic 'switches' can lead to someone developing 
diabetes. Your family and others like yours (I've known a few personally) 
are exceptional and unusual and very interesting because your cases show 
that 1) the _predisposition_ is  inherited; and 2) members of the same 
family may be sensitive to the same trigger factor and can develop type 1 
nearly universally while 90% (yes, that really is true; call your 
diabetologist if you don't believe it) of people with type 1 can't think of 
a near blood relative who has it.

The majority of us--those who are alone in our families in having type 
1--show that even if the predisposition to type 1 is inherited, the trigger 
factor is not necessarily the same for every person, or may be 
encountered/experienced by only one of the many people in a family who could 
technically develop type 1. It's all so complicated! Much of the research 
going on right now is focused on figuring out not only who has a 
predisposition to type 1 (with the human genome project and all, that much 
is going to become rather easy) but whether different individuals have 
different triggers for its development (i.e., for one person, is it a viral 
trigger, but for another would the trigger be environmental?).

Ack, I've been writing this e-mail for 15 minutes! Back to work 'cause I'm 
on Oxford University Press's time!

Take care,

IDDM 8+ years; MiniMed pumper 6 years

----Original Message Follows----
From: email @ redacted
Reply-To: email @ redacted
To: email @ redacted
Subject: Re: [IPk] Re: We're new to all this...
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 06:37:13 EDT

It is not a coincidence when 3 of your siblings have it as well as your own
daughter and cousins' children, auntie and grandmother along with ancestor
who died from it as a baby.  These are all people from one side of the 
and not a single one from my father's side of the family even though there
are 8 brothers, 2 sisters and in excess of 40 cousins all still living.

Perhaps if someone in my family offered to have a genes analysis, this would
tell you.

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