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UT Health San Antonio Team Cures Diabetes In Mice Without Side Effects

UT Health San Antonio team cures diabetes in mice without side effects

UT Health San Antonio team cures diabetes in mice without side effects

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, U.S.A. -- 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 The University of Texas Health Science Center, now called 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 strategy in large-animal studies, which will cost an estimated $5 million.
Those studies will precede application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Investigational New Drug (IND) approval, Bruno Doiron, Ph.D., a co-inventor, said.
U.S. patent
The scientists received a U.S. patent in January, and UT Health San Antonio is spinning out a company to begin commercialization.
The strategy has cured diabetes in mice.
"It worked perfectly," Dr. Doiron, assistant professor of medicine at UT Health, said. "We cured mice for one year without any side effects. But it's a mouse model, so caution is needed. We want to bring this to large animals that are closer to humans in physiology of the endocrine system."
Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Diabetes at UT Health, is co-inventor on the patent. He described the therapy:
"The pancreas has many other cell types besides beta cells, and our approach is to alter these cells so that they start to secrete insulin, but only in response to glucose [sugar]," he said. "This is basically just like beta cells."
Insulin, which lo Continue reading

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Norwegian researchers make strides toward diabetes cure

Norwegian researchers make strides toward diabetes cure

This is a short-term step toward finding out how to make implanted cells secrete insulin in the body.
Further down the road the goal is to replace insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring with automatic insulin secretion in keeping with blood sugar levels by implanting a capsule containing custom-made cells for each individual diabetes patient.
“This is a step further in ‘spare-part’ medicine, where much can go awry and everything must fall in place before there can be a permanent, reliable healing of diabetes,” explains Helge Ræder, professor of medicine at the University of Bergen (UiB).
The study was newly published in Scientific Reports.
Too few donors
Nearly a century has passed since the first artificial production of insulin, enabling diabetes patients to survive with injections of the pancreatic protein hormone.
No real revolution in diabetes treatment has occurred since. The main treatment is still with insulin substitutes and various methods of injecting insulin.
Diabetes still requires daily follow-ups by the patients themselves. Those with type 1 diabetes have to gauge their blood sugar levels and inject doses of insulin depending on how much they eat, what they eat and how much exercise they get.
A few diabetes patients receive transplanted insulin producing cells from dead donors. There are not enough of these to go around.
“There are simply not enough donors to help everyone,” explains Ræder.
Another challenge is that the cells can be rejected or attacked and destroyed by immune defence mechanisms or could cause disease.
“This is why we a Continue reading

No Insulin Shots? Diabetes 'Cure' Under Study In San Antonio

No Insulin Shots? Diabetes 'Cure' Under Study In San Antonio

A possible cure for diabetes is on the horizon for the millions of people who suffer from the disease. The important research is being conducted in San Antonio. The technique is designed to make the body produce insulin on its own again.
Diabetic patients have to use finger pricks to check blood sugar and insulin shots to control their glucose levels.
"It's part of my daily routine all day and at night before I go to bed, all of it has to be done," said type two diabetic Denise Shank. She has been a slave to this routine for 29 years. She’s among millions of people who have to take injected insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
"It's a pain and it’s time consuming," Shank added. "In other words you can’t just get up in the morning and put your clothes on and go somewhere."
"This becomes a big burden for diabetic patients," explained Ralph DeFronzo, MD, a world renown diabetes researcher and director of the Division of Diabetes at UT Health San Antonio. "So it would be nice if they could just go around, not ever have to take another insulin injection, not ever have to do a finger stick for glucose."
DeFronzo and his colleague, biologist Bruno Doiron, Ph.D., believe they are onto a technique that will be a game changer. It’s called gene transfer.
Using lab-created sections of DNA, scientists injected the pancreases of mice with a cocktail of three molecules delivered by a virus. That virus infects the cells, spreading the new gene information and sparking those cells to produce insulin. Sort of like a cold virus makes your nose run.
"Basically, what we’re goi Continue reading

Here's how stress can cause diabetes

Here's how stress can cause diabetes

The growing burden of diabetes represents a global health challenge with considerable consequences in terms of illness and discomfort, health care costs and overall loss of economic productivity. Projections show that the global prevalence of diabetes continues to increase, with Africa facing an alarming acceleration in numbers.
The origins of this debilitating condition are multi-factorial with genetics and poor lifestyle choices now fairly well-established as major contributors. This increase is strongly linked to greater urbanisation and the adoption of detrimental lifestyle choices that include sedentary behaviour, smoking and poor dietary preferences. More recently, however, stress has also emerged as an important contributor to the onset of diabetes and therefore deserves some consideration.
Psychosocial stress
Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote ‘’Time is money’’ provides an apt metaphor describing contemporary Western society’s problem with the perceived lack of time and the ‘’mad rush’’ suffered almost daily. Of concern is that time wasted (and palpitations!) while sitting in a traffic jam or the rush to pick up the kids from school can trigger psychosocial stress that may elicit the development of diabetes in the long-run.
Stress can best be defined as a highly coordinated physiological response mediated by the nervous system – followed by corresponding changes in behaviour and cognition – in response to environmental challenges. This response allows for adaptation to a changing environment.
Environmental stressors can be physical or psycholog Continue reading

Type 2 diabetes breakthrough: Scientists create first pill that not only STOPS the condition in its tracks but also helps patients lose weight - and it could be available on the NHS within 3 years

Type 2 diabetes breakthrough: Scientists create first pill that not only STOPS the condition in its tracks but also helps patients lose weight - and it could be available on the NHS within 3 years

Scientists have created a new pill that can halt type 2 diabetes in its tracks and help patients shed pounds from their waistlines, a major study has revealed.
Results from a human trial of 632 patients found semaglutide allowed 71 per cent of them to shed pounds - it is believed this is the first type 2 diabetes pill to instigate weight loss.
Researchers hope semaglutide will offer a better way to control the hidden killer, as some treatments currently available can trigger unexpected weight gain which fuels type 2 diabetes.
Results from the phase II trial carried out by the Leicester Diabetes Centre were published in the prestigious JAMA. Semaglutide could be available on the NHS within three years.
The pill was handed as an add-on to patients already taking Metformin - the drug is the first line of defence to control the preventable condition.
Researchers discovered semaglutide stopped type 2 diabetes in its tracks, slashed blood sugar levels and prevented patients from needing insulin.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart failure, blindness and leg amputations and is deemed a global time bomb.
Spiraling obesity rates have fuelled a 65 per cent rise in diagnoses in a decade, with more than 4 million people now living with the condition, UK data shows. Globally there are 380 million patients.
Charities have warned the NHS will become crippled by the burden of the condition without urgent action to make changes to today’s lifestyles.
Professor Melanie Davies, lead author, dubbed the results 'hugely promising' and said they show 'semaglutide’s ability to lower HbA1c and su Continue reading

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