Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) is the term used to describe adults who have a slowly progressive form of diabetes mellitus (DM) of autoimmune etiology, but that may be treated initially without insulin. Although the American Diabetes Association (ADA) currently does not recognize this disease as a specific type, there is increasing information about it, as well as groups dedicated to its study. LADA shares some immunological and genetic aspects with DM type 1, it affects an age group that is typically affected by type 2 DM. Therefore, it could be considered a type of intermediate diabetes. This process can be detected by specific antibodies in the peripheral blood, months or even years before the clinical onset of the disease. Diagnosis is based on clinical and laboratory criteria: age of onset, initial response to oral hypoglycemic agents and the presence of specific antibodies for diabetes. Although the definitive treatment is insulin, glitazones may be useful in early stages of the disease. Currently, its management represents a challenge for the physician, including specialists, and it is a form of DM to keep in mind.
Part of the book: Diabetes and Its Complications