T Nation

Diabetes Type-1 Research

This looks promising…

Toronto Research Team Leads Groundbreaking Research of Type 1 Diabetes
http://www.ecanadanow.com/science/health/2006/12/16/toronto-research-team-leads-groundbreaking-research-of-type-1-diabetes/

A Toronto-based team of scientists has discovered a trigger for Type 1 diabetes, a monstrous breakthrough that has long evaded discovery and could lead to the overall prevention of the disease.

The team discovered that abnormal nerve endings in the pancreas? insulin-producing cells initiated a chain reaction that caused Type 1 diabetes in lab mice. However, when they removed the nerve cells, the mice did not develop the disorder.

According to Dr. Hans Michael Dosch, a senior scientist at Toronto?s Hospital for Sick Children and the study?s lead investigator, this indicates the diabetes may be a disease of the nervous system, not just an autoimmune disease.

But Dosch, working alongside colleagues at Sick Kids, the University of Calgary and Maine?s Jackson Laboratory, identified a control circuit between islet cells and their associated sensory nerves. Disruption of this circuit led to inflammation around the islets and eventually to their destruction. Without these cells, the mice were unable to produce insulin.

“This control circuit is the real cause of diabetes,” Dosch said.
Experts agree the findings, reported yesterday in the journal Cell, will dramatically change the foundations of diabetes research.

More research will be put in motion quickly to see if the same treatment applied to the lab mice will be effective in humans for preventing Type 1 diabetes, or better still, if it will shed new light on treatment methods for Type 2 sufferers, according to Dosch.

Also, in a surprising twist, the researchers also found that injecting substance P, a chemical secreted by nerve cells, into the mice who had damaged or inflamed islet cells, not only eliminated the inflammation process, but reversed it.

“The blood glucose normalizes overnight and it stays low for weeks to months - this is with a single shot,” Dosch said.

I was reading that article a couple days ago. Very interesting stuff. Diabetes does appear to be one disease where there is a cure looming closely.