Permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus (PNDM) usually appears within the first 6 months of life. Babies will carry this form of diabetes with them throughout their life.
Some babies with PNDM experience DEND syndrome – a combination of diabetes, developmental delay and epilepsy (seizures). A small number might have an underdeveloped pancreas, which can lead to fatty stools and problems absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
About 30 percent of babies with PNDM have mutations in the KCNJ11 gene. Another 20 percent have mutations in the ABCC8 gene. Both of these forms might respond to sulfonylurea pills, rather than insulin injections.
It is critical for babies with PNDM to remain under the care of a specialist, who can determine the most appropriate course of treatment.