Cure?


(Ella) #1

hey y'all check out this article I found in an english news paper online!

CURE

Diabetes cure a step closer after liver used to regulate blood sugar

A diabetes cure is a step closer after scientists discovered a way to regulate blood sugar using the liver.

 

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Last Updated: 4:43PM GMT 16 Mar 2009

Man injecting himself with needle: Diabetes cure a step closer after liver used to regulate blood sugar
Diabete sufferers are forced to inject themselves with insulin everyday and adopt special diets to cope with the irreversible condition Photo: GETTY

Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from hereditary diabetes, a condition that destroys cells in the pancreas and leaves the body unable to regulate blood sugar levels.

Sufferers are forced to inject themselves with insulin everyday and adopt special diets to cope with the irreversible condition.

But now scientists claim a cure could be developed after cells in the liver were converted to insulin producers in research on mice.

They believe the process, described in the journal Developmental Cell, could one day lead to a permanent one-off cure for the disease.

Dr Lawrence Chan and his team at the the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, injected a gene into mice which converted stem cells in the liver to replace those damaged in the pancreas.

They discovered that the blood sugar of the mice returned to normal within a few weeks and remained that way for the rest of the animal's natural life.

Liver cells have been coverted to insulin producers before but this is the first time scientists have understood the technique and believe eventually could lead to treatment for humans.

One obstacle is that in order for the gene called neurogenin3 to bond with a cell it needs to be transported by a virus which could be deadly to humans.

Dr. Vijay Yechoor, co-author, said: "The mice responded within a week. The levels of sugar in their blood plummeted to normal and stayed that way for the rest of their normal lives."


(Diabetichick) #2

WHOAAA! That's insane! And so interesting. I hope it works! I wish I was one of those mice, lol.

It sounds really cool, except that "virus which could be deadly to humans" part. Lol.


(Ella) #3

i know, right?!?!? it's so cool......


(Trevor) #4

Not to be Mr. Pessimism, but I'd like to point out a few unfortunate facts:

1. I'm hard-pressed to be confident in the contents of an article that lists diabetes as a hereditary disease. The origin of diabetes is still heavily debated.

2. Diabetes is an auto-immune disease. I'm curious how the replacement islet cells in the liver hide from the body's immune system. I'm not saying it's impossible, they just don't explain it here, and I'm curious. :)

3. Unfortunately the difference in the medical system today compared to a hundred years ago is that the process of medical testing is highly regulated. If there's a significant chance that the virus can be deadly to humans, you can bet these restrictions will not be lifted very soon to allow for human testing.

Nice article, but I'm not holding my breath!


(Eric_Carpenter) #5

Trevor raises good points. Not only do they have to replicate the process in humans, they have to protect the cells from further autoimmune attacks.  I looked up the article and found it a little confusing, can anyone help me on some points?

1.What statistical tests were used? P values were given, but nothing like r or F.  With multiple conditions (groups of rats), most having only 8 rats per condition and only one condition having 15, I'm worried about the validity of their testing.

2.The newspaper article claims the rats had normal insulin production for the rest of their "natural" lives, but I don't recall seeing this statement in the article, only a reference to six months after the procedure.

3.It looks like many of the graphs were trying to include confidence intervals but many of them were hard to discern or appear to overlap each other (which is not good).  Any thoughts on what else this might be?


(OmniUser) #6

I agree with Trevor. But lets also keep our hopes high! Not too much, and keep on looking to the future.


(Trevor) #7

Believe me, I'd love for these tests to be indicative of a cure. Just because I don't actively pine for one doesn't mean I won't take one if it's offered to me. ;)

I just know from experience (in unrelated matters) that groundless hope tends to crumble from below if you're not careful or if you don't see it follow through, and it just makes you feel lower than before. ^_^


(OmniUser) #8

It does, like just recently since you know, Obama gave the Green Light for stem cell reserch, i asked my endo that if it weould be possible to get a new pancreas with my own stem cells, she was like "sure". And then i thought "YES!!!" but then she said, "but you would have to take anti regecting pills for the rest of your life the come with side effects... also even with the medicine... your body might still regect the new pancreas, so its not a promise that you will be cured.." I was so upset after that... So yes, high hopes and low possibilities, usualy dont mix..


(system) #9

[quote user="Cesar"]

It does, like just recently since you know, Obama gave the Green Light for stem cell reserch, i asked my endo that if it weould be possible to get a new pancreas with my own stem cells, she was like "sure". And then i thought "YES!!!" but then she said, "but you would have to take anti regecting pills for the rest of your life the come with side effects... also even with the medicine... your body might still regect the new pancreas, so its not a promise that you will be cured.." I was so upset after that... So yes, high hopes and low possibilities, usualy dont mix..

[/quote]

That happened to me a lot growing up, a new discovery would come out and my mom and endo would say it might be "the one"..but they always drifted out of the media's light and were never talked about(except maybe in medical journals) again.

The best thing you can do, is hope that one day there will be but until then force on keeping yourself as healthy as you can and not getting too worked up about new discoveries and such. I have come to terms with it really and personally don't think there will be a cure in my lifetime, so I don't get overly excited over discoveries and laws past that will help research. I just make sure that I'm healthy, can live a normal life and hope that someday for the future generation's sake there is a cure found. :) But there are worse things to be diagnosed with out there, and I would much rather see a cure for cancer and the likes before a cure for diabetes.


(OmniUser) #10

[quote user="Batts"]

That happened to me a lot growing up, a new discovery would come out and my mom and endo would say it might be "the one"..but they always drifted out of the media's light and were never talked about(except maybe in medical journals) again.

The best thing you can do, is hope that one day there will be but until then force on keeping yourself as healthy as you can and not getting too worked up about new discoveries and such. I have come to terms with it really and personally don't think there will be a cure in my lifetime, so I don't get overly excited over discoveries and laws past that will help research. I just make sure that I'm healthy, can live a normal life and hope that someday for the future generation's sake there is a cure found. :) But there are worse things to be diagnosed with out there, and I would much rather see a cure for cancer and the likes before a cure for diabetes.

[/quote]

That is so thoughtful of you batts..


(system) #11

[quote user="Cesar"]

[quote user="Batts"]

That happened to me a lot growing up, a new discovery would come out and my mom and endo would say it might be "the one"..but they always drifted out of the media's light and were never talked about(except maybe in medical journals) again.

The best thing you can do, is hope that one day there will be but until then force on keeping yourself as healthy as you can and not getting too worked up about new discoveries and such. I have come to terms with it really and personally don't think there will be a cure in my lifetime, so I don't get overly excited over discoveries and laws past that will help research. I just make sure that I'm healthy, can live a normal life and hope that someday for the future generation's sake there is a cure found. :) But there are worse things to be diagnosed with out there, and I would much rather see a cure for cancer and the likes before a cure for diabetes.

[/quote]

That is so thoughtful of you batts..

[/quote]

 

haha well considering I'm not dying from this, I'm pretty healthy otherwise and it's a pain in the ass yes, but not keno...I don't think I have a right to ask for a cure for personal reasons. For other people, sure I hope there's a cure soon..but I'm fine with my diabetes and having to take care of it. I know that there are worse things out there, and I should consider myself lucky to be healthy besides having diabetes and needing to take shots everyday.