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A Vaccine For Type 1 Diabetes Begins Human Trials In 2018

A Vaccine For Type 1 Diabetes Begins Human Trials in 2018

A Vaccine For Type 1 Diabetes Begins Human Trials in 2018

A prototype vaccine, decades in the making, that could prevent type 1 diabetes in children is ready to start clinical trials in 2018.
It's not a cure, and it won't eliminate the disease altogether, but the vaccine is expected to provide immunity against a virus that has been found to trigger the body's defences into attacking itself, potentially reducing the number of new diabetes cases each year.
Over two decades of research led by the University of Tampere in Finland has already provided solid evidence linking a type of virus called coxsackievirus B1 with an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to destroy cells in its own pancreas.
The type 1 form of diabetes – not to be confused with the more prevalent type 2 variety that tends to affect individuals later in life – is a decreased ability to produce the insulin used by the body's cells to absorb glucose out of the blood.
This loss of insulin is the result of pancreatic tissue called beta cells being destroyed by the body's own immune system, often within the first few years of life.
It's something of a mystery as to why the body identifies beta cells as foreign, though there could be a genetic link producing variations of human leukocyte markers, which act as the cell's 'ID tags'.
No doubt it's complex, and there are numerous ways this process can be triggered. One example established by virologist Heikki Hyöty from the University of Tampere is an infection by a type of enterovirus.
Enteroviruses are nasty pieces of work; you might be most familiar with polio, but they can also cause hand, foot and mouth disease, Continue reading

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Keeping Up With the Diabetes News

Keeping Up With the Diabetes News

With the new year came a variety of diabetes-related news. First, reality show star Rob Kardashian was reportedly diagnosed with diabetes and hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). We can’t confirm or deny the specifics of these reports or what type of diabetes Kardashian may have, but we did notice many medical inaccuracies in the news, which is unfortunately all too common in content written about diabetes. As always, our thoughts are with the Kardashians and the thousands of families who face a diabetes diagnosis every day.
And as of Jan. 1, American Girl dolls can be outfitted with their own diabetes care kits, complete with an insulin pump, glucose tablets, a log book and more—all items used by people to take care of their diabetes, especially when they must take insulin. We celebrate any efforts to embrace diabetes awareness and inclusion, especially if it helps young people with diabetes feel more understood and less alone.
Diabetes ought to be front-page news year-round; we need a robust national conversation to fuel the fight against America’s most urgent chronic health crisis. Diabetes, in all its forms, is a very serious disease. But while every headline shines a much-needed spotlight, it can also leave room for confusion about type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The complexity of diabetes makes it ripe for myths and misinformation—so let’s get back to the basics. While there are certainly distinct differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, you may be surprised to learn how much they also have in common.
It starts with understanding the hormone insu Continue reading

An Apple Watch app is coming for people with diabetes

An Apple Watch app is coming for people with diabetes

Medical device maker Dexcom has been showing off iPhone and Apple Watch integration for its implantable diabetes glucose monitors for the past few weeks. The app will display glucose readings on iOS devices and should be ready when Apple Watch is launched in April, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Dexcom Apple Watch app, medical device experts say, is made possible by recent Food and Drug Administration policy changes that suggest the federal agency will only regulate medical hardware, and not the apps that connect it to consumer platforms like iOS and Android. The exact scenario of glucose monitoring for people with diabetes was discussed when Apple quietly met with FDA officials to discuss the possibility of Apple Watch triggering federal regulation.
People with diabetes and their loved ones want the kind of features that Dexcom’s iOS app promises. In fact, Dexcom’s app was preceded by NightScout, a open-source, not-for-profit, and unregulated set of tools created as a labor of love by software engineers around the world. NightScout takes readings from Dexcom glucose monitors, uploads them to the internet, and can display them on devices like the Pebble smartwatch.
Dexcom’s demos have only shown its Apple Watch app displaying glucose readings. There might be other features included, including alarms and calibration, but those haven’t been revealed yet.
The opportunity for Apple and device makers like Dexcom in mobile health is huge. Credit Suisse estimates there are 400 million people worldwide with Type II diabetes, with associated costs totaling up to $ Continue reading

Platypus venom paves way to possible diabetes treatment

Platypus venom paves way to possible diabetes treatment

Platypus venom could pave the way for new treatments for type 2 diabetes, say Australian researchers.
The males of the extraordinary semi-aquatic mammal - one of the only kind to lay eggs - have venomous spurs on the heels of their hind feet.
The poison is used to ward off adversaries.
But scientists at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University have discovered it contains a hormone that could help treat diabetes.
Known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), it is also found in humans and other animals, where it promotes insulin release, lowering blood glucose levels. But it normally degrades very quickly.
Not for the duck-billed bottom feeders though. Or for echidnas, also known as spiny anteaters - another iconic Australian species found to carry the unusual hormone.
Both produce a long-lasting form of it, offering the tantalising prospect of creating something similar for human diabetes sufferers.
Lead researcher Prof Frank Grutzer told the BBC's Greg Dunlop why the researchers had decided to look at the platypus and its insulin mechanisms: "We knew from genome analysis that there was something weird about the platypus's metabolic control system because they basically lack a functional stomach."
They are not the only animals to use insulin against enemies. The gila monster, a venomous lizard native to the US and Mexico, and the geographer cone, a dangerous sea snail which can kill entire schools of fish by releasing insulin into the sea, both also weaponise the chemical.
"That's obviously something that can be powerful in venom," Prof Grutzer said, though he stresse Continue reading

Diabetes is no laughing matter, say young sufferers

Diabetes is no laughing matter, say young sufferers

A young American woman, infuriated by a social media trend where pictures of cakes and sweets are accompanied by #diabetes, has spelled out what it is really like to have the condition.
On a Facebook post with the hashtag #WhatDiabetesReallyLooksLike, Madeline Milzark, 18, wrote about living with type 1 diabetes.
"Diabetes isn't your piece of cake, or that super-sized McDonald's meal with extra fries or anything you see coated with sugar.
"Diabetes is an 18-year-old girl sitting on her bathroom floor shaking and not able to breathe because her blood sugar dropped and praying her grandma's phone is near her and she got the text message to bring some sugar since she's too weak to yell and the whole room is spinning."
Her post has been shared thousands of times around the world.
Madeline told the BBC: "I originally posted the piece because I had low blood sugar, and I finally had enough. So many people post jokes about my disease, even people on my 'friends' list, yet they don't see me when I'm unconscious or when sugar actually saves my life.
"I'm so extremely happy about the response I've gotten.
"I've had so many people telling me I'm making a difference, sharing their stories with me and thanking me. It's so heart-warming."
Like Madeline, Amy Black - from Belfast - has type 1 diabetes and she supports her campaign: "I agree with it in terms of how she's retaliated. It's something which I've experienced personally and frustrates me a lot. A lot of people trivialise diabetes and don't realise how serious it is.
"People don't seem to see it as a chronic illness - people poke Continue reading

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