Tuesday October 23, 2018

Diabetes would become a curable disease in the next few years, say researchers

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Washington: Although the way diabetics test their glucose levels has gone through dramatic changes over the past 50 years, there is still a long way to go, say researchers.

Earlier, the only way to assess diabetes control was by testing for the presence of sugar in a person’s urine, today there are numerous, far more accurate ways to test blood glucose levels.

There is a non-invasive A1C method which measures average blood glucose levels over a three-month period.

“This gives us a nice marker for showing whether a person is on the right road or not,” said Fred Whitehouse, division head emeritus at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

“There has been a lot of change, most of it for the better. But what people want is a cure and we don’t have that yet”, he added.

“Despite the enormous growth in our understanding of diabetes and its complications, we are still only able to manage the disease,” noted Robert Ratner, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association.

The reason diabetes is a serious health problem is because of the complications.

“If there were no complications, diabetes would be like hypothyroidism and other easily managed diseases. You would take a tablet to replace the hormone and everything would be fine,” said Michael Brownlee from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Diabetes Research Centre.

New treatments must provide optimal glucose and metabolic control without the risk of hypoglycemia and complications of diabetes should become historical memories.

Also, every person with diabetes needs to create a system for remembering and dealing with his or her own treatment.

“The next 50 years must elucidate the mechanisms by which both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes occur, along with those critical steps at which we might intervene to prevent disease,” the authors emphasized during a special symposium held recently at the American Diabetes Association’s 75th scientific sessions. (IANS)

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Insulin Has Potential To Treat Chronic Bowel Inflammation

Based on the positive results, the researchers will now test the treatment in clinical trials on humans

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Insulin can help treat chronic bowel inflammation. Pixabay

Insulin, which plays a key role in managing blood sugar, also has potential against colitis — a chronic bowel inflammation, finds a study.

The study, conducted on mice, showed that chronic bowel inflammation can be treated effectively by injecting insulin into the rectum.

Insulin works because it activates a gene inside the bowel cells, which has an antioxidant effect and thus may be able to protect the bowel cells from inflammation.

“Existing treatments attack the bowel’s immune system, dampening it, instead our method strengthens the bowel cells’ own defence. It appears to work equally well, and it can probably be used in combination with existing treatments,” said Jorgen Olsen, Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

For the study, published in the scientific Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, the team examined the effect of the treatment in a series of tests on mice with chronic colitis of the type Colitis Ulcerosa.

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Representational image. Pixabay

The cause of these bowel disorders is unknown but they cause patients great discomfort and can involve bloody diarrhoea, anaemia, stomach ache and weight loss.

The researchers have studied the effect of the insulin treatment in various ways.

The team found that treatment with insulin led to a 50 per cent drop in the amount of inflammation, compared to the saltwater control treatment.

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Further, the mice also lost 15-20 per cent less weight than the control group and importantly, they gained weight 50 per cent faster, following the treatment.

Based on the positive results, the researchers will now test the treatment in clinical trials on humans. (IANS)

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