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Common BP Drug May Prevent Onset Of Type 1 Diabetes

For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the team used a supercomputer, on the lab bench, in mice, and in humans

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Type 1 Diabetes

A drug commonly used to control high blood pressure may be also effective in preventing the onset of Type 1 diabetes in up to 60 percent of those at risk, researchers say.

The drug, methyldopa, has been used for over 50 years to treat high blood pressure in pregnant women and children and is also on the World Health Organization’s list of essential drugs.

Methyldopa was found to block a molecule called DQ8 — found in some 60 percent at the risk of getting Type 1 diabetes — which significantly increases the chance of getting the disease.

Blocking specifically the DQ8 molecule could also block the onset of the disease, the study found.

 

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“This is the first personalized treatment for Type 1 diabetes prevention,” said Aaron Michels, Associate Professor of medicine at University of Colorado – Anschutz.

“With this drug, we can potentially prevent up to 60 percent of Type 1 diabetes in those at the risk for the disease. This is very significant development,” Michels added.

Type 1 Diabetes

For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the team used a supercomputer, on the lab bench, in mice, and in humans.

They found that methyldopa not only blocked DQ8, but it did not also harm the immune function of other cells like many immunosuppressant drugs do.

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“We can now predict with almost 100 percent accuracy who is likely to get Type 1 diabetes. The goal, with this drug, is to delay or prevent the onset of the disease among those at risk,” Michels said.

The drug is taken orally, three times a day.

Besides, diabetes, the same approach of blocking specific molecules can be used in other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and others, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Researchers Find Drug to Delay Type-1 Diabetes by Two Years

The effects of the drug were greatest in the first year after it was given, said the study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine

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Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

In a first, researchers have found that a treatment affecting the immune system effectively slowed the progression to clinical Type-1 diabetes in high risk individuals by two years or more.

“The results have important implications for people, particularly youth, who have relatives with the disease, as these individuals may be at high risk and benefit from early screening and treatment,” said Lisa Spain, Project Scientist from US National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

The study, involving treatment with an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (teplizumab), was conducted by Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international collaboration aimed at discovering ways to delay or prevent Type-1 diabetes.

Participants were randomly assigned to either the treatment group, which received a 14-day course of teplizumab, or the control group, which received a placebo.

All participants received glucose tolerance tests regularly until the study was completed, or until they developed clinical Type-1 diabetes – whichever came first.

During the trial, 72 per cent of the people in the control group developed clinical diabetes, compared to only 43 per cent of the teplizumab group.

diabetes
“Although Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother’s children before age 22,” . Pixabay

The median time for people in the control group to develop clinical diabetes was just over 24 months, while those who developed clinical diabetes in the treatment group had a median time of 48 months before progressing to diagnosis.

“The difference in outcomes was striking. This discovery is the first evidence we’ve seen that clinical Type-1 diabetes can be delayed with early preventive treatment,” Spain added.

Type-1 diabetes develops when the immune system’s T cells mistakenly destroy the body’s own insulin-producing beta cells.

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Insulin is needed to convert glucose into energy. Teplizumab targets T cells to lessen the destruction of beta cells.

The effects of the drug were greatest in the first year after it was given, said the study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine. (IANS)