New drug could stop onslaught of juvenile diabetes
Unlike Type 2, Type 1 diabetes not linked to obesity or poor diet
British scientists are testing a drug that could stop children from developing diabetes. Youngsters could conceivably be screened for vulnerability at school, and then given the drug to keep them healthy. Charities said the pioneering work could bring us a "step closer to a world without diabetes."
Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which is also on the rise, childhood diabetes is not linked to poor diet and obesity.
The condition is caused when the immune system kills cells in the pancreas which make insulin, the hormone which converts sugar into energy. Diabetes can take 20 years off the average person's lifespan -- and the number of sufferers is soaring worldwide.
Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which is also on the rise, it is not linked to poor diet and obesity.
The new drug tries to bring the immune system back under control by boosting numbers of a second, protective type of immune cell. Developed at King's College London and Cardiff University, a drug trial is now under way, 24 diabetics will be given vaccination-type injections every two weeks for six months.
An earlier trial found the drug to be safe and to produce "encouraging" changes in the immune system.
"With prevention there is everything to play for," King's researcher Mark Peakman says. Another option would be to slow or delay progression of the condition in those who have recently been diagnosed.
Much more research is needed, meaning the treatment is five to ten years away from widespread use.
Scientists say that the treatment is not expected to help those who have had the condition for years and will be of no benefit to those with Type 2 diabetes.
"We are facing something of an epidemic of Type 1 diabetes," Professor Peakman, who is collaborating with Colin Dayan, of Cardiff University says.
"Once you have it as a child, you have got it for life and it leads to complications and obviously it is not a very nice thing to live with." Peakman added that more volunteers are needed for the trial, between the ages of 18 and 40 and have recently been diagnosed with the condition.
"If this drug works, it would mean that there will be a future generation for whom Type 1 diabetes is no longer a risk," Sarah Johnson, of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which is part funding the study says.
"But it is early days. This is not something that is going to happen tomorrow."
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Health News
- Alzheimer's to join cancer, heart disease as one of America's top fatal conditions
- Birthing centers not provided for under health care reform
- Lots of proteins can BE BAD FOR YOU! 'As bad for health as smoking,' new study finds
- OUTBREAK: 53 people in 10 states stricken with measles
- Popular overdose drug rises in cost, to keep up with demand
- ANCIENT SCOURGE: leprosy, still very much alive in the world today, goes back 10 million years
- CONTROVERSY: Is dyslexia a 'meaningless label' to excuse bad reading skills?
- Horrid polio-like disease stalking children in California, may be very widespread
- Is multiple sclerosis detectable long before onset?
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?