diabetestalk.net

Are Synthetic Insulin-secreting Cells The Future Of Diabetes Treatment?

Are synthetic insulin-secreting cells the future of diabetes treatment?

Are synthetic insulin-secreting cells the future of diabetes treatment?

2 pictures
While treatments for type 1 diabetes are rapidly evolving, even the most recent hi-tech artificial pancreas system still involves glucose monitors and insulin pumps. But a new development from scientists at the University of North Carolina and NC State could do away with the need for injections and glucose monitoring through the use of artificial beta cells that mimic the insulin-secreting function of healthy cells.
For patients with type 1 diabetes, and some cases of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce effective beta cells, the cells that monitor blood sugar and release insulin to keep glucose levels normalized. Outside of manual monitoring and insulin injections, pancreatic cell treatments are an option, albeit an expensive and time consuming one.
In an effort to create synthetic beta cells that can duplicate the behavior of natural beta cells, scientists from the University of North Carolina and NC State cleverly produced artificial cells containing insulin-stuffed vesicles. The vesicles' coating can identify high glucose levels and subsequently release the load of insulin into the surrounding bloodstream.
"This is the first demonstration using such a vesicle fusion process for delivering insulin that employs insulin-containing vesicles like those found in a beta cell and can reproduce the beta cell's functions in sensing glucose and responding with insulin 'secretion'," says Zhaowei Chen, lead author on the study.
The artificial beta cells were tested in diabetic mice and within an hour of the injection the mice displayed normal blood glucose level Continue reading

Rate this article
Total 1 ratings
Diabetes and Vision: Understanding the Link

Diabetes and Vision: Understanding the Link

Uncontrolled blood sugar can affect you from head to toe—including your eyes. Yet Johns Hopkins research shows that many people living with diabetes don’t have their eyes examined or take other steps that can help save their vision.
Fewer than half of all Americans with diabetes-related eye damage know that diabetes can lead to vision loss—and just 60 percent of those in the know had a complete eye exam in the previous year, finds a recent Johns Hopkins study. This “knowledge gap” could increase risk for blindness if people miss out on early eye checks and vision-protecting treatments, the researchers say. In fact, nearly one in four people in this study already had some loss of vision.
It’s well known that diabetes raises your blood sugar levels. But this chronic health condition also increases your risk for eye diseases that can cause blindness, says Johns Hopkins diabetes expert Rita Rastogi Kalyani, M.D., M.H.S.
“Elevated blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina—the area at the back of the eye that sends signals to your brain,” says Kalyani. “This damage, called diabetic retinopathy, can begin years before you notice vision changes.” The condition can lead to diabetic macular edema, a leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new cases of reversible blindness in the United States. About 40 percent of people with diabetes have some degree of retinopathy, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute. At first, tiny blood vessels in the eye may swell Continue reading

Type 1 diabetes linked to coeliac disease

Type 1 diabetes linked to coeliac disease

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to mistakenly attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Parents of young children with type 1 diabetes need to be on the lookout for symptoms of another autoimmune condition – coeliac disease, new research suggests.
The study found these youngsters appear to face a nearly tripled risk of developing coeliac disease autoantibodies, which eventually can lead to the disorder, which is chronic and causes an intolerance to gluten, which damages the small intestinal lining. The severity of symptoms differs from person to person.
Genetically related
"Type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease are closely related genetically," explained study author Dr William Hagopian.
"People with one disease tend to get the other. People who have type 1 diabetes autoantibodies should get screened for coeliac autoantibodies," Hagopian said. He directs the diabetes programme at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle.
Insulin is a hormone that helps to usher the sugar from foods into the body's cells to be used as fuel. Because the autoimmune attack leaves people with type 1 diabetes without enough insulin, they must replace the lost insulin through injections or an insulin pump with a temporary tube inserted under the skin.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed, according to the Coeliac Disease Foundation. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. Symptoms of coel Continue reading

Decades into diabetes, insulin therapy still hard to manage

Decades into diabetes, insulin therapy still hard to manage

So, your doctor told you that you need insulin therapy for your Type 2 diabetes.
This is a common problem and likely to be more so in the coming years. About 29 million people in the U.S. have Type 2 diabetes, and another 86 million have prediabetes. About one in four people with Type 2 diabetes is on insulin therapy, and another one in four likely needs to be.
What does it mean to be on insulin therapy, exactly? And whose fault is it? Could you have prevented this? Will insulin actually work? These are frequent questions people who need insulin therapy ask, and, as someone who has treated people with diabetes for years and has been working to improve its effectiveness, I will do my best to help you answer these questions. I also have been working to develop a better way to personalize dosing for insulin.
Insulin therapy for Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a condition in which your pancreas fails to secrete a sufficient amount of insulin to help you to maintain normal blood glucose, or sugar in the blood, which is transported to various parts of our bodies to supply energy.
There are many causes of insulin deficiency, but the most common is Type 2 diabetes. The main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are family history, weight and age.
In fact, most overweight or obese people in the Western world will never develop diabetes. Weight is a very important, yet misunderstood, risk factor for diabetes. The foods you eat are usually less relevant than the weight itself. The American Diabetes Association, for example, recommends that you limit the amount of sugary drinks you drink, inclu Continue reading

Alzheimer’s: Diabetes of the Brain?

Alzheimer’s: Diabetes of the Brain?

Although we’ve always known that Alzheimer’s disease is typically associated with numerous tangles and plaque in the brain, the exact cause of these abnormalities has been hard to pin down. Now, we may be closer to an answer.
In many respects, Alzheimer’s is a brain form of diabetes. Even in the earliest stages of disease, the brain’s ability to metabolize sugar is reduced. Normally, insulin plays a big role in helping the brain take up sugar from the blood. But, in Alzheimer’s, insulin is not very effective in the brain. Consequently, the brain cells practically starve to death.
How is that like diabetes?
These days, most people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Basically, cells throughout the body become resistant to insulin signals. In an effort to encourage cells to take up more sugar from the blood, the pancreas increases the output of insulin. Imagine having to knock louder on a door to make the person inside open up and answer. The high levels of insulin could damage small blood vessels in the brain, and eventually lead to poor brain circulation. This problem could partly explain why Type 2 diabetes harms the brain. In Alzheimer’s, the brain, especially parts that deal with memory and personality, become resistant to insulin.
Why does the brain need insulin?
As in most organs, insulin stimulates brain cells to take up glucose or sugar, and metabolize it to make energy. Insulin also is very important for making chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which are needed for neurons to communicate with each other. Insulin also stimulates many function Continue reading

No more pages to load

Popular Articles

  • This Exotic Fruit Kills Cancer Cells and Treats Diabetes!

    Nature holds the key to cure many ailments. We see remedies from around the world curing illnesses and saving lives – nuts, berries and even fruit juices have amazing effects on the human body. This is a refreshing change from what has become traditional medicines and reducing patients to chemotherapy and radiation for treatment. One of the latest natural discoveries in health is the discovery o ...

  • Stem Cells May Functionally Cure Type 1 Diabetes

    Credit: Pixabay Living with type 1 diabetes can be really rough. There’s a lot of injections and that you have to keep up with and even then, heart health, cardiovascular, and brain health can take some big hits. Some choose to use an insulin pump, but even that has its issues. The disorder affects the immune system, causing it to recognize the cells that make insulin and attacks them. One medic ...

  • Diabetes breakthrough: Insulin-producing cells formed using malaria drugs

    Diabetes currently affects 29 million Americans. For decades, researchers have been trying to replace the insulin cells of the pancreas that are destroyed by the disease. Groundbreaking research may have found a way to genetically transform alpha cells into insulin-producing beta cells. Diabetes ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease ...

  • Diabetes breakthrough increases insulin producing cells

    A potential cure for Type 1 diabetes looms on the horizon in San Antonio, and the novel approach would also allow Type 2 diabetics to stop insulin shots. The discovery, made at UT Health San Antonio, increases the types of pancreatic cells that secrete insulin. UT Health San Antonio researchers have a goal to reach human clinical trials in three years, but to do so they must first test the strateg ...

  • Cellular markers of aging could reveal how insulin-producing cells begin to fail in type 2 diabetes

    Diabetes researchers have puzzled for decades about why insulin-producing beta cells in one pancreatic islet often look and behave quite differently than their counterparts in the same islet or in nearby islets. Using newly identified cellular markers of aging, Joslin Diabetes Center scientists now have shown that this diversity may be driven at least in part by differently aged beta cell populati ...

  • Pre-treated blood stem cells reverse type 1 diabetes in mice

    Type 1 diabetes is caused by an immune attack on the pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. To curb the attack, some researchers have tried rebooting patients’ immune systems with an autologous bone-marrow transplant, infusing them with their own blood stem cells. But this method has had only partial success. New research in today’s Science Translational Medicine suggests a reason why. ...

  • Research Shows This One Plant Can Kill Cancer Cells & Treat Diabetes

    Bitter melon is a fruit that grows abundantly in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Traditionally it has been used to treat diabetes and other more mild diseases or illnesses. More recently, bitter melon juice was shown to kill pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in mice in a study done by the University of Colorado. Considering the results were seen in both in vitro and in vivo tests, the effective ...

  • Scientists Find A Plant That Could Treat Diabetes & Kill Cancer Cells

    Bitter melon is a fruit that grows abundantly in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Traditionally it has been used to treat diabetes and other more mild diseases or illnesses. More recently, bitter melon juice was shown to kill pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in mice in a study done by the University of Colorado. Considering the results were seen in both in vitro and in vivo tests, the effective ...

  • Encapsulated stem cells halt type 1 diabetes in mice for six months

    Harvard hero Dr Doug Melton, working on a project led by Dr Daniel Anderson and Dr Robert Langer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has today shown encapsulated human islet (insulin-producing) cells transplanted into mice can withstand the autoimmune attack in type 1 diabetes, effectively halting the condition for up to six months. The findings, reported in Nature Medicine and Nature Biotec ...

Related Articles