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A UK-based research team at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead believe they are closer than ever to finding a cure for insulin-dependent diabetes.
A team of researchers, including Professor Lucy Walker, who is leading the study, have spent an impressive six years looking into what causes the condition in such a big proportion of the general population.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the individual’s pancreas does not produce enough insulin to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood.
The team have found that the cell in question sets off a domino-effect of developments which ultimately leads to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.Now, this research team believe they have found the actual cell which starts to trigger the process which leads to an individual’s pancreas being unable to produce its own insulin.
Walker’s team are now looking into why the T-cell becomes activated in some people and not others. When this has been determined, the team, who work for the Institute of Transplantation and Immunology will be one step closer to developing a breakthrough ‘cure-like’ drug for Type 1 diabetes.
Current treatment for the condition involves individuals injecting themselves with insulin to make up for the lack of the hormone within their systems. Pancreas transplants are often another way of effectively treating the condition, but by finding out what causes bodies to stop producing the hormone could lead to an effective treatment which could save thousands of diabetes sufferers each year.