Researchers Find Possible Clue to Diabetes
Researchers have long searched for the trigger provoking the immune attack that causes juvenile (type 1) diabetes. So far, scientists have had success only in clarifying that something in the beta cells draws the fire of the immune system's T cells, which eventually destroy the body's capacity to make insulin. Identifying this initiator, or "antigen", is an essential step toward developing ways to prevent the disease.
Researchers Find Diabetes Susceptibility Gene
An international team of researchers funded by JDRF has identified a gene that contributes to susceptibility to juvenile (type 1) diabetes. The mechanism underlying this susceptibility operates not just in diabetes but in other autoimmune diseases as well.
Immune System Gene Seems to Play Key Role in Diabetes
JDRF-funded research teams at the Joslin Diabetes Centre at Harvard Medical School and the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Australia have published important findings about a gene that helps regulate the immune system. The discoveries shed new light on the cause of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and may lead to strategies to block them.
European Diabetes Meeting Features Latest Findings
More than 10,000 people from the international diabetes research community convened in Budapest, Hungary September 1-5 for the 38th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). JDRF Scientific Director Richard Furlanetto co-chaired one scientific symposium (co-sponsored by JDRF and EASD), and two JDRF volunteers attended to gain the latest information about the diabetes research landscape. Brief summaries are included of the meeting's two major presentations, the first on a clinical trial studying prevention and the second entitled "Mining for Genetic Gold."
New Gene Chip is Powerful Diabetes Research Tool
The mapping of the human genome has ushered in a new age of medicine, in which an understanding of the genetic aspects of a disease will guide strategies for treating it. Diabetes researchers are most interested in genes expressed in the pancreas, the site of insulin secretion that regulates blood glucose levels. Almost all cells in the body - and all cells in the pancreas - include identical full sets of chromosomes, with identical genes contained within the chromosomes. What makes one cell different from another is not the genes it contains but which of its genes are turned on, or "expressed." The cells function and fate also are affected by when and to what degree this genetic expression occurs.
What can be done to prevent and treat diabetic neuropathy?
People who have a history of poor blood sugar control, those over 40, those who are overweight, and those with high levels of blood fat and high blood pressure are most at risk for developing the complications of diabetic neuropathy. So tight blood control, maintaining ideal weight, and regular exercise are essential preventative measures. It is also important to limit alcohol consumption, take care of your feet, and report any problems with feet, legs, digestion, sexual functioning, dizziness, and inability to detect low blood sugar to your doctor. Specific treatments vary depending on what type of neuropathy exists.
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