International Group of Researchers Look at Important Role of Glucose Transporters

Jul 06, 2012, 07:30 ET from Remi Savioz Glut1 Foundation

Mom's passion fuels organization of Medical Conference

ORLANDO, Fla., July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A cross-disciplinary team of international researchers are gathering in Orlando, July 6-7 to present emerging research on the role glucose transporters and glucose metabolism may have in the management of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer treatment, heart disease, epilepsy Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome and Alzheimer's. The conference represents the first time, researchers and healthcare professionals from different specialties have gathered to present research on the topic.

The organization of the conference is all in a day's work for the mother of two, Samra Savioz. In 2010, she worked with her husband to start a foundation, the Remi Savioz Glut1 Foundation, aimed at raising awareness for their daughter Remi's rare neurometabolic brain disease, Glut1 Deficiency. 

But with many cases still going undiagnosed because of the lack of information available and the rarity of their daughter's condition, the Savioz's started to leverage their own medical backgrounds to help others impacted by the disease.

The Foundation has become a valued asset for parents needing support and guidance on treatment options, like the ketogenic diet, which has been identified as an integral part of disease treatment. Today, Samra provides one-one-one diet training and hopes to expand the understanding of how ketones can impact other diseases.

Sponsored by the Remi Savioz Glut1 Foundation, The Glucose Transporter Conference will bring together several medical disciplines including pediatrics, neuro-oncology and endocrinology.

Eighteen abstracts will be presented on the role of glucose transporters:

Topics for the conference include:

  • The link between glucose starvation in shrinking cancerous tumors or slowing down the progression of cognitive diseases.
  • Insights into the structural basis of Glut1 transporters in the brain to expand the clinical spectrum.
  • Alternative therapies like ketone esters, which can have broader applications, like restoring cognitive function to Alzheimer's patients or preventing seizures.
  • Applying knowledge about glucose metabolism in the brain for obesity and diabetes treatment.

Among the highlights of the research will be exploring the role of ketone esters.

"The conference will provide an important platform for us to share research focused on exploiting the anti-seizure and neuroprotective effects of therapeutic ketosis. Ketone esters may offer great hope for patients with drug-resistant seizure disorders and neurodegenerative diseases," stated Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida.  "Our recent studies have demonstrated that specific ketone esters mimic the anti-seizure effect of fasting and the ketogenic diet."

Glut1 is a glucose transporter protein, which is directly or indirectly involved in a host of diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Novel therapeutic agents aimed at altering glucose transport activity may have a broad impact on human health. There are four types of glucose transporters with Glut1 being responsible for moving glucose from the bloodstream into all of the cells in the body, especially the brain.

SOURCE Remi Savioz Glut1 Foundation