A new pill to fight diabetes is going into clinical trials with human subjects. The pill targets a gene linked to aging, and could lead to advances in longevity.
Alzheimer's disease, often called "old timers disease" effects about 1 in 5 people over age 80. Called dementia, the symptoms include problems with memory, thinking, behavior, and emotion.
Researchers at Northwestern University think that the mechanism of Alzheimer's involves insulin receptors in brain cells. In the brain, insulin and insulin receptors are vital to learning and memory.
A toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those neurons insulin resistant.
The protein, known to attack memory-forming synapses, is called an ADDL for "amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligand." Science Daily
William L. Klein, professor of neurobiology and physiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, said he believes the findings are a major factor in the memory deficiencies caused by ADDLs in Alzheimer's brains and reveals a fundamental new connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. This offers hope for therapeutics. Finding ways to make those insulin receptors themselves resistant to the impact of ADDLs. might not be so difficult.
Klein not only helped identify the bio-marker, ADDL, but also helped develop a technique to detect it in patients with early stage Alzheimer's using bio-bar-code amplification technology.
To detect ADDLs, a magnetic microparticle and a gold nanoparticle are each outfitted with an antibody specific to the ADDL antigen. When in solution, the antibodies “recognize” and bind to the ADDL, sandwiching the protein between the two particles. Fienberg School of Medicine
After the “particle-ADDL-particle” sandwich is removed magnetically from solution, the bar-code DNA is removed from the sandwich and read using standard DNA detection methodologies. The researchers next would like to develop the technology so that the test could be done using a blood or urine sample instead of cerebrospinal fluid, which is more difficult to obtain.
One out of every eight U.S. federal health care dollars is spent treating people with diabetes. A report by Medco Health Solutions Inc. issued last month found that the growing diabetes epidemic and more aggressive treatment could result in soaring costs to treat the disease over the next three years.
An analysis of Medco's 2007 Drug Trend Report found that, by 2009, spending just on medicines to treat diabetes could soar 60 percent to 68 percent from 2006 levels. The sales of diabetes drugs in the United States reached $9.88 billion in 2005, according to data from IMS Health Inc. Yahoo News
Over the next 30 years, diabetes is expected to claim the lives of 62 million Americans. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in heart disease, stroke, vision loss, amputation of extremities and kidney disease.
Using data from an ongoing federal health survey of U.S. adults, researchers found that, on average, obese 18-year-old men had a 50.1-percent lifetime risk of developing diabetes, while obese women had a 57.3-percent risk. Diabetes Care, June 2007.
If we are going to stem the growing burden of diabetes, we must improve our prevention efforts. You can start by reading about diabetes(World Health Organization fact sheet).
The Science Museum has a new exhibit on race which explains, among other things, how "race" is not something biological in our bodies, but rather is invented by societies.
Well, it turns out that doctors are just as human as the rest of us. Doctors in a diabetes study labeled samples based on a patient's home or culture, rather than by any biological factors. And according to Dr. Michael Montoya of the University of California Irvine, this leads to problems:
"[R]esearch that presumes race is biological may confuse matters instead of improving our understanding of the causes of chronic diseases like diabetes. ...
"[L]ooking for genetic factors that influence diabetes in ethnic groups ignores the social factors like poverty and access to health care that have a much stronger correlation to the rates of diabetes among certain groups. And if we don’t understand that those groups are not biological, we will look for biological explanations for their disease rates when we should be looking for social ones.”
Insulin is used for the first time to treat diabetes in a human being.
Frederick Banting, along with collaborator John James Richard Mcleod, was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
My niece nearly died from diabetes complicactions just before Thanksgiving. Shortly after being diagnosed with child onset diabetes (type 1), she suffered toxic shock syndrome. Before eating her Thanksgiving meal she needed to get blood from her finger, measure her blood sugar, calculate the amount of insulin needed for the food she would eat, then inject the proper amount via a needle into her body.
At Christmas time I shared with her that perhaps within a few years, a cure for her diabetes would be available. In a breed of mice genetically predestined to develop diabetes, researchers discovered that
after just one injection of a neuropeptide called "substance P" the diabetes disappeared overnight and the mice remained diabetes-free for weeks, and even months in some cases.sickkids.ca
This research is reported in the December 15 issue of the journal, Cell.
Scientists at a Toronto hospital found that malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas might be the cause of diabetes. This upsets conventional wisdom that Type 1 diabetes is caused by an auto-immune response.
“We started to look at nervous system elements that seemed to play a role in Type 1 diabetes and found that specific sensory neurons are critical for islet immune attack in the pancreas,” said Dr. Hans Michael Dosch, study principal investigator, senior scientist at SickKids and professor of Paediatrics and Immunology at the University of Toronto. “These nerves secrete insufficient neuropeptides which sustain normal islet function, creating a vicious circle of progressive islet stress.”
The researchers caution they have yet to confirm their findings in people, but say they expect results from human studies within a year or so. Any treatment that may emerge to help at least some patients would likely be years away from hitting the market. Canada.com-National Post