Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Cure For Diabetes On the Horizon?

            Already in class we have discussed what diabetes is and what is the cause for diabetes. I will go over what diabetes is so that we can all have a quick little review incase we have forgotten what it is (even though we should not have since it was just on our second exam). Diabetes occurs when the pancreas in our body does not perform the way it is supposed to. Our pancreas produces a substance called insulin that is important to our body’s metabolism and how our digestive tracks digest the food that we eat (gluscose). There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is usually diagnosed to young children and in this type of diabetes the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to break down sugars and starches into energy for the body. It turns out that only 5% of people have this type of disease/diabetes type. Type 2 on the other hand is diagnosed in older people. Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not use the insulin produced by the pancreas correctly. Because of this the glucose level in the body raises higher than it is supposed to. This is called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes between type 1 and type 2.
            Now that I have shared a little background on what diabetes is and what the two different types of diabetes are I can now go into something I researched and found that I found quite interesting. Diabetes has been around for a while and yet has no cure. While looking through the web on this topic that I wanted to do I came across an article on Joslin’s Diabetes Center. The article is called Diabetes Research: Advancing Toward A Cure. According to the article the previous research on trying to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes was strictly about the islet cells, which are part of the pancreas. The body’s immune system turns on itself and kills of these cells that are vital to producing those islet cells. Scientists have wondered if maybe, just maybe if they could somehow create these islet cells again in the body whether it be through the use of stem cells, embryonic or adult, or other ways of engineering these cells. Joslin research hope the people who have Type 1 diabetes still have enough islet cells left in their pancreas to collect and then try to copy to send more into the body to see if they remain alive. On the other hand Joslin researchers believe that Type 2 diabetes is caused by some type inflammation that occurs in the pancreas. They are know researching and trying to see if a simple inflammation pill would help cure the Type 2 symptoms and hopefully get rid of it entirely.
            Diabetes has played a major role in my life because my youngest brother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 2. To see how much he has had to go through over the years (he is 15 now) has not been the easiest and I pray and hope everyday that researchers get closer to a cure for him and others who have to deal with having diabetes every single day. 
Images from google images

1 comment:

  1. If Joslin is on the right path, they might have an answer for type 2 diabetes in the near future. Although the type 1 diabetes hypothesis presented doesn't sound so promising.