Hope for diabetes cure with stem cells
Diabetic patients, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, were able to stop insulin injections through treatment with stem cells. The tests, conducted by a team of American scientists and breziliens were conducted on 15 patients recently diagnosed with the disease, they follow the immunosuppressive treatment and were then transfused with stem cells from their blood.

14 of 15 volunteers were no longer resort to insulin injections - some for several years - after treatment. Indeed one of the patients was able to provide injections for 35 months while 4 other patients will be provided for at least 21 months. The treatment was effective immediately after the transfusion of stem cells for 11 of the 15 volunteers who were able to dispense with insulin injections.

This form of therapy is known as the transplantation (or graft) of autologous stem cells. This method already shown encouraging result for the treatment of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease or lupus.

Mechanisms of actions not elucidated
Stem cells, there are several types, are undifferentiated cells which retain the ability to differentiate into different types of adult cells. Stem cells used in this study are called multipotent i.e they are able to generate several cell types. Other types of stem cells are totipotent stem cells (the only ones that can give rise to a whole organism), pluripotent (able to generate most or all tissues of the adult body) and unipotentes (capable of producing a single type of cell ).

The researchers do not know by what precise mechanisms of these cells could act, several hypotheses have been advanced.

The first is that these cells have reconstituted the immune system does not attack cells of the pancreas since insulin production is ensured by this cells.

A second possibility is that cells have reformed new cells of the pancreas to produce insulin.

Finally another possibility is that these cells were able to create a mechanism-unknown-protecting pancreatic cells from destruction.

Preliminary Studies
Take this study with all precautions. It is a small study of volunteers monitoring was not done on a very long period. In addition, the study did not compare patients who received this treatment to patients not receiving treatment or who received an alternative treatment. Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University in Chicago who participated in the study points out, it does not cure or breakthrough, this is just a step forward. British experts believe that such therapy requires atleast 5 to 8 years researches before it becomes widespread.

Type 1 diabetes also known as insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes, results from destruction of pancreatic cells (islets of Langherans) producing the hormone insulin. It represents 10% of cases of diabetes is treated with insulin.

BBC Health
Credit image: HowStuffWorks


ranjini said...

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.

Types of Diabetes

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