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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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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.

ALSO READ: Diabetes can hamper your reproductive health

“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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Study: Diabetes Treatment Gets Boost From ‘Surgery in a Pill’

Novel 'surgery in a pill' to reverse diabetes

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Study: Diabetes Treatment Gets Boost From 'Surgery in a Pill'
Study: Diabetes Treatment Gets Boost From 'Surgery in a Pill'. (IANS)

Researchers have developed “surgery in a pill” that can reduce post-meal blood sugar spikes and help reverse diabetes.

When the pill was administered in rats, it delivered a substance that could temporarily coat the intestine, forming a thin barrier that alters nutrient contact and lowers blood glucose response after a meal, the researchers said.

“We envision a pill that a patient can take before a meal that transiently coats the gut to replicate the effects of surgery,” said Jeff Karp, a bioengineer at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Massachusetts, US.

After a meal, blood sugar levels rise and can stay elevated over time.

However, one hour after the pill was administered to the rats, the response to glucose was lowered by 47 per cent.

“What we’ve developed here is essentially, ‘surgery in a pill’,” added Yuhan Lee, a materials scientist in the BWH.

This response was temporary, and after three hours, the effect essentially disappeared, the study showed.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Nature Materials, the team selected a substance known as sucralfate — an FDA-approved drug that is used in the treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers — to adhere to the small intestine and then dissolve within a matter of hours.

Further, the team engineered the substance into a novel material that can coat the lining of the intestine without requiring activation by gastric acid.

The engineered compound, referred to as LuCI (Luminal Coating of the Intestine), can be made into a dry powdered form that can be encapsulated as a pill.

Also Read: Thyroid Dysfunction May Lead to Diabetes During Pregnancy

“We’ve used a bioengineering approach to formulate a pill that has good adhesion properties and can attach nicely to the gut in a preclinical model. And after a couple of hours, its effects dissipate,” Lee said.

The team is now testing the effect of short-and long-term use of LuCI in diabetic and obese rodent models. (IANS)

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