Gene therapy and enhancement for diabetes (and other diseases): The multiplicity of considerations

Marta Bertolaso, Jenny Olsson, Antonio Picardi, Jorge Rakela

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Gene therapy has reached the forefront of studies and research over the last 30 years because of its potential for curing, treating, and preventing diseases associated with DNA mutations. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are two examples of very common polygenic and multifactorial diseases. The huge amount of scientific literature on this topic reflects a growing general interest in the possibilities of altering our genetic heritage and thus controlling the onset of diseases associated with mutations and relative risk factors. We have focussed on the new treatment opportunities and possibility of enhancing an individual's health, physical well-being, and even an individual's behaviour through technologies specially designed for therapeutic purposes, which have been presented in literature. This historical perspective shows how this type of research, however, was immediately subjected to an ethical evaluation, especially regarding the decoding of the human genome and the questions raised by the alteration of our genetic heritage through new biotechnologies. Moreover, understanding the limitations of gene therapy protocol experiments and the multifactorial nature of many diseases, which have a genetic base, also contributes to these considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Biological complexity
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Enhancement
  • Ethics
  • Gene therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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