Texas scientists make inroads into possible type 1 diabetes cure
Type 1 diabetes is a currently incurable condition that affects some 340,000 Americans. Fortunately, recent genetic studies have shown that there may be ways to reverse the disease and improve these individuals quality of life.
One team of researchers active in this field hails from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Building on previous gene therapy studies, the scientist added a protective gene called interleukin-10 that shielded newly formed beta cells from autoimmune attack. This type of attack lies at the core of type 1 diabetes.
To emphasize the promising nature of this method, Dr Lawrence Chan, chief of Baylor's diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism division, said that a single treatment cured about 50 percent of the diabetic mice, restoring their blood sugar to normal so that they no longer need insulin injections.
At time same time, it is important to keep in mind that the research is still in its early stages and that more work needs to be done to understand the implications of this possible treatment.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, Kidney and Digestive Diseases and its results were presented at the The Endocrine Society's 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.