Recent Breakthroughs in Diabetes Research
In the last year, medical researchers have been making some excellent strides forward for diabetes treatment. In fact, some research teams are currently working on ways to prevent diabetes from developing in the first place. Incredibly, it seems that there have been some major breakthroughs in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes clinical trials. This is really great news which could not have come at a better time. During Diabetes Awareness Month this year, we need to remember all the people who currently are affected by one of these conditions. There are millions of people in the United States alone that could be saved through the successful development of these experimental treatments and therapies.
Diabetes Genes Breakthrough
According to a recent report, a team of scientists have been able to identify a clutch of genes which can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes. Through further research of this genetic link, researchers believe that they will be able to develop new forms of diabetes medication which would be even more effective at combating this disease.
The scientists discovered 10 new common genetic variations that have been associated with about a 7 to 13% increase in that person’s odds of one day developing type 2 diabetes. Before conducting these clinical studies, researchers had been interested in whether these genetic variations in the DNA code occurred more often in people who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than those without it.
New Vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes
Scientists from UCLA have developed a vaccine which could be capable of preventing type 1 diabetes! The vaccine works to slow down the attacks from the immune system and at the same time is capable of protecting insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. So far, the vaccine has been tested successfully in mice, and the next step is conducting clinical trials with human participants.
With the successful development of this vaccine, these UCLA scientists hope to be able to protect more children from a life with type 1 diabetes and constant insulin injections. Since, research has shown that there are some children that have a genetic predisposition for type 1 diabetes. These researchers believe that this vaccine could help to change their immune system if these children are identified at an early stage, and they could then live a diabetes-free life.
Experimental Therapy for Treating Type 2 Diabetes
An international team of medical researchers have developed an entirely new approach for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (90% of all diabetics have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes!). This experimental therapy works by prohibiting the triggering signals from a protein known as VEGF-B. When this signaling is blocked, fat is not accumulated in the wrong places, like in the heart or the muscles. This means that the cells located within these tissues once again become responsive to the insulin the body produces.
In early clinical trials with lab mice and rats, this research team was successful in both preventing the development of type 2 diabetes and reversing the progression of an established illness. This incredible breakthrough in diabetes research was the result of a joint effort by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Karolinska Institutet, the Australian biopharmaceutical company CSL Limited, and several others.
Experimental Therapy for Treating Type 1 Diabetes
Another group of researchers have discovered that insulin-producing cells in the pancreas contain high-levels of heparan sulphate. When a person begins to develop type 1 diabetes, an enzyme, known as heparanase, actively destroys the heparin sulphate within these pancreas cells, effectively killing the cells. Following additional clinical trials, there was evidence to suggest that heparan sulphate-replacing drugs and heparanase inhibitors were capable of protecting these pancreas cells.
The lead scientist for this research believes that this breakthrough could be of great benefit for patients in the earlier stages of type 1 diabetes. During this initial period, their condition can still be fairly well regulated or controlled. As you can see, it has been a productive year for diabetes related research, and we are hopeful that this positive trend will continue into the future.