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Our travel insurance with diabetes customers will be buoyed by a new study from scientists in the USA, where they claim to have produced a combination therapy that is able to reverse established type 1 diabetes in laboratory mice.
The research was carried out at the University of Florida and the City of Hope National Medical Centre in Duarte, California, and it is hoped that this breakthrough will lead on to successful treatment of type 1 diabetes in humans. People with type 1 diabetes lack the hormone insulin, and this new treatment is a combination treatment of bone marrow transplantation and a substance that will help to promote cell growth that produces insulin. Currently the only therapy available for reversing established type 1 diabetes is the transplantation of pancreatic islets that contain the insulin producing beta cells, however rejection is very common with this treatment and if it does work it is normally only effective for three years.This new dual strategy would help to minimise the beta cells being rejected and there should be no limit on how long it will work for.
Furthermore, other researchers in California have reported they can reverse the effects of Type 1 diabetes in mice through early stem cell research. By transplanting the stem cells into the pancreas, they replace the old cells which have been damaged by the condition making them unable to produce insulin. The team injected the stem cells into mice that had been genetically modified to have high glucose levels, which mimick the type 1 diabetes condition in humans.Without the ability to produce insulin, the body has difficulty absorbing sugars and glucose from the blood, so scientists have been working hard to find a treatment to help replace the damaged B-cells that are meant to produce insulin