A possible cure for type 1 diabetes? Even years after being diagnosed with the disease? Wow! That could be huge.
Well, that’s the potential based upon the just-published research findings of Professor Bart Roep of the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported on Tuesday, February 21, that Professor Roep had discovered that people with type 1 diabetes still have pancreas cells which can produce insulin, but they are dormant and not actively making any insulin. This goes against earlier studies that said these cells are completely missing in folks with type 1 diabetes.
It is known that, for some reason, certain antibodies – which are things in our bodies that are supposed to fight off bad stuff, like infections – attack normal insulin-producing cells which leads to too little insulin and the out-of-whack blood sugar problems with type 1 diabetes. According to the report, the good professor has determined exactly which messed-up antibodies are involved with this vicious attack upon the goodly insulin-making cells. According to Professor Roep, this discovery could lead to the “development of a vaccine which specifically addresses these malfunctioning antibodies.”
While such a vaccine is still a long ways off, now researchers are at least in the early stages of such development.
Even if it isn’t just around the corner, it’s pretty exciting to think that there’s a real potential cure for many folks with type 1 diabetes in the offing.
Posted – February 22, 2012