A simple test of fingernail clippings could replace a blood draw as a way to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), with huge implications for tracking the disease in the developing world.
Research on this method by a team of Belgian researchers was reported July 28, 2015, at the 2015 American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta. The team, led by Joris R. Delanghe, MD, PhD, of the Department of Global Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at Ghent University, collected nail clippings from 25 people with T2DM and 25 without the disease. The clippings were ground into a powder and tested with an inexpensive FT-IR photometer to measure how much the protein in the nails had bonded with sugar molecules, a process known as glycation.
“We found a striking difference in the measurements between the control group and the patients with diabetes,” Delanghe said. In an interview with Evidence-Based Diabetes Management, he said replacing the standard blood test to measure glycated hemoglobin is a huge advantage. In many cultures, he said, “Taking blood is something that cannot be tolerated.” - See more at: http://www.ajmc.com/journals/evidence-based-diabetes-management/2015/september-2015/fingernail-tests-may-offer-cheap-simple-way-to-diagnose-diabetes#sthash.XQxnBcNO.dpuf