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Pre-treated Blood Stem Cells Reverse Type 1 Diabetes In Mice

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

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.
“We found that in diabetes, blood stem cells are defective, promoting inflammation and possibly leading to the onset of disease,” says Paolo Fiorina, MD, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital, senior investigator on the study.
But they also found that the defect can be fixed — by pre-treating the blood stem cells with small molecules or with gene therapy, to get them to make more of a protein called PD-L1.
In experiments, the treated stem cells homed to the pancreas and reversed hyperglycemia in diabetic mice, curing almost all of them of diabetes in the short term. One third maintained normal blood sugar levels for the duration of their lives.
In a dish, the modified blood stem cells curbed the autoimmune reaction in cells from both mice and humans.
“There’s really a reshaping of the immune system when you inject these cells,” says Fiorina, a researcher in the Division of Nephrology at Boston Children’s.
The powers of PD-L1
Fiorina, Moufida Ben Nasr, PhD, and colleagues began by using gene expression profiling to find out what proteins blood stem cells make. They discovered that blood stem cells from diabetic mice and humans have alterations in the network of genetic re Continue reading

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Finnish Researchers Set to Start Type 1 Diabetes Vaccine Trials?

Finnish Researchers Set to Start Type 1 Diabetes Vaccine Trials?

In July 2017, it was announced that Finnish researchers would begin human trials of a Type 1 diabetes vaccine in 2018.
On 19 July 2017, the Finnish news web site Yle reported that a group of Finnish researchers had developed a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes, and that human trials were set to begin in 2018:
A vaccine for type 1 diabetes developed by Finnish researchers will be tested on mainly Finnish human subjects in late 2018, researchers announced on Tuesday. The scientists first found that the prototype works effectively and safely on mice, and now say that the vaccine could be in mainstream use within eight years if the coming rounds of tests prove successful.
One skeptical reader asked us to check out the story.
Yle is Finland’s public broadcasting corporation (akin to NPR or the BBC). T he names of the lead researchers and their universities are real, the announcement of vaccine trials is real, and the story is true.
On 18 July 2017, the University of Tampere in Finland announced that Professor of Virology Heikki Hyöty and his team of researchers had identified a particular strand of enteroviruses (viruses transmitted through the intestines) linked to Type 1 diabetes, and developed a vaccine against them.
“Already now it is known that the vaccine is effective and safe on mice,” Hyöty said. “The developing process has now taken a significant leap forward as the next phase is to study the vaccine in humans.”
The university’s statement continued:
In the first clinical phase, the vaccine will be studied in a small group of adults to ensure the safety of the va Continue reading

With diabetes rising at alarming rate, California puts money behind prevention campaign

With diabetes rising at alarming rate, California puts money behind prevention campaign

California officials decided this week to dedicate $5 million to prevent people at high risk for diabetes from getting the disease, hoping to stem the huge numbers of Californians expected to be diagnosed in the coming years.
Currently 9% of Californians have diabetes, but a study last year found that 46% of adults in California have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetic.
“That is a staggering number,” said Flojaune G. Cofer, research and state policy director for Davis-based Public Health Advocates, which sponsored the bill, SB 97, that adds the new funding.
Cofer said that if nothing is done to stop prediabetics from developing diabetes, millions more Californians will become diabetic in the next five years and the state’s diabetes rate will likely double. Approximately 70% of prediabetics will become diabetic in their lifetime.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday approved $5 million to pay for Medi-Cal recipients to enroll in the Diabetes Prevention Program starting July next year. Participants must be overweight and have high blood sugar levels, but not yet be considered diabetic.
The program helps people lose 5% to 7% of their body weight by eating more healthfully, exercising more and reducing stress — and has been shown to cut the risk of developing diabetes by more than half. California will become the third state to cover the program as a Medicaid benefit after Montana and Minnesota.
Daniel Zingale, senior vice president at the California Endowment, said Medi-Cal has long covered t Continue reading

Avoiding Eye Complications

Avoiding Eye Complications

When it comes to diabetes-related eye complications, the good news is that most cases of severe vision loss due to diabetes are preventable. The bad news is that tens of thousands of people still lose vision to diabetes each year, despite all that is known about prevention and treatment.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness for American adults between the ages of 20 and 74. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that 12,000–24,000 people in the United States lose their vision to diabetic retinopathy each year, and studies have shown that people with diabetes have a fivefold to twenty-fivefold increased risk of blindness in their lifetimes.
-- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >>
However, these numbers very likely underestimate the true incidence of vision loss and blindness, because diabetes can cause a variety of eye diseases other than retinopathy, several of which can cause severe visual impairment (see “Eye Diseases Associated With Diabetes” ). Moreover, these statistics ignore vision loss less severe than “legal blindness” (defined as vision on the eye chart worse than 20/200 with the use of prescription lenses or severe loss of peripheral vision to within 20 degrees of central vision). But even less severe vision loss can and does substantially affect quality of life for thousands of people with diabetes.
Prevention strategies
Why do so many people continue to lose their sight to diabetes when so much is known about preventing and t Continue reading

Can people with diabetes eat peanut butter?

Can people with diabetes eat peanut butter?

Peanut butter may help people to manage diabetes, a condition that affects blood sugar levels. How exactly does this popular snack help to control the condition?
A diet high in magnesium is thought to offer protective benefits against the development of diabetes. Peanuts are a good source of magnesium.
Natural peanut butter and peanuts are also low glycemic index (GI) foods. This means that they have a lower effect on blood sugar levels.
This article explores research into the impact of peanut butter on diabetes, to help people with diabetes decide whether eating it could improve their condition. It also considers any risks involved and looks at other healthful snacks for people with diabetes.
How GI affects blood sugar
GI is a 100-point scale applied to foods. This scale measures how blood sugar and insulin spike after eating specific food types.
Foods that are digested slowly and release sugar gradually into the blood stream have a lower GI. Peanuts have a GI score of just 14, making them one of the lowest GI foods.
Foods high in GI cause blood sugar and insulin to spike severely after eating them. This is followed by a crash in blood sugar that can result in hunger, cravings, and tiredness.
These cycles of spiking and crashing blood sugar and insulin levels are not good for the body. They can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Research into peanut butter and blood sugar
By contrast, low-GI foods can help people to better control their blood sugar levels.
For example, a 2012 study looked into eating peanut butter or peanuts at breakfast. This helped obese w Continue reading

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