Scientists uncover potential ‘cure’ for type 1 diabetesBy ANI
Thursday, January 27, 2011
WASHINGTON - New findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers suggest that type 1 diabetes could be converted to an asymptomatic, non-insulin-dependent disorder by eliminating the actions of a specific hormone.
These findings in mice show that insulin becomes completely superfluous and its absence does not cause diabetes or any other abnormality when the actions of glucagon are suppressed.
Glucagon, a hormone produced by the pancreas, prevents low blood sugar levels in healthy individuals. It causes high blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes.
“We’ve all been brought up to think insulin is the all-powerful hormone without which life is impossible, but that isn’t the case,” said Dr. Roger Unger, professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study.
“If diabetes is defined as restoration of glucose homeostasis to normal, then this treatment can perhaps be considered very close to a ‘cure.’ “
The study appears online and in the February issue of Diabetes. (ANI)