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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 01:29 pm
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beejmi
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A vaccine for diabetes could be on the horizon after scientists announced they had found a gene that could be responsible for causing the incurable condition.

The finding applies to type 1 - or insulin-dependent - diabetes.
Sufferers cannot produce the hormone insulin, which is needed to control blood sugar levels. Without it, death is inevitable and patients need an insulin injection every day.
Now scientists believe they have found the gene that kills the body's insulin-producing cells.
Children are most affected
Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes, because most sufferers develop it during childhood or adolescence.






It is an autoimmune disease - a disease where the body turns on itself and the immune system destroys healthy cells.
Until now, nobody knew what caused the disease, although some thought it might be inherited.
If doctors confirm the gene they have identified - the GAD gene - is responsible for the disease, they could work on treatments to prevent it developing.
Dr Ji-Won Yoon, lead author of the research, said: "We found that if we suppress GAD expression in the pancreatic cells, then we can prevent diabetes.
"It is that simple."
Immune system destroys cells
Dr Yoon and colleagues from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada performed the research and published their findings on Friday in the journal Science.
They found that when the GAD gene was active it caused cells to create a protein called glutamic acid decarboxylase.
When the immune system detected the protein, it attacked it as if it were a foreign substance. In doing so, it also destroyed the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
The result is type 1 diabetes.
But in experiments with mice bred to be diabetic, Dr Yoon's team managed to switch off the GAD gene, with the result that they remained free of diabetes.
Dr Yoon said his study suggests it may be possible to prevent type 1 diabetes with a vaccine that makes the immune system ignore the GAD gene.
"If you inject GAD then the T-cell will learn to tolerate GAD and will not attack the beta cells (which make insulin)," he said.
"The concept is that you inject GAD into young children then they would not get diabetes. That is prevention."
'Move towards prevention'
Dr Robert Goldstein, medical director of the US Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, said Yoon's discovery was a "very important step" toward, perhaps, developing a diabetes vaccine.
"This approach has the promise of modulating the autoimmune response and going toward prevention," he said.
He did warn, however, that many more basic questions had to be answered before such a vaccine could be produced.
It is estimated that world wide there are 135 million people with diabetes. Of these, about 10% have type 1 diabetes, the rest have type 2.
Type 2 - or non-insulin dependent - diabetes is the most common form of the disease. It usually occurs in people who are over the age of 45 and overweight.
Type 2 sufferers do not make enough insulin, or are unable to make proper use of it, but the condition can be controlled through exercise and diet.

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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 02:35 pm
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Kid_Naitch



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The ultimate prevention of diabetes: running.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 05:13 pm
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brodiescomics



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Kid_Naitch wrote: The ultimate prevention of diabetes: running.

I have diabetes and I go to the gym 3 times a week and have for the last 5 years or so. Maybe I need to run more, Dr. Kid_Naitch?



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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 07:18 pm
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BigJ



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Yeah, that's kind of a dumb statement.  Aint no kind of running prevent some kinds of diabetes.  Most childhood cases, most cases where a woman is pregnant...

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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 07:30 pm
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beejmi
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I dunno. I have diabetes and I hate running. But as far as I can tell (I am still a diabetes newbie ~ diet and exercise is everything)

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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 08:17 pm
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BigJ



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beejmi wrote: I dunno. I have diabetes and I hate running. But as far as I can tell (I am still a diabetes newbie ~ diet and exercise is everything)
Juvenile diabetes has nothing to do with being out of shape.  And largely neither does gestational.  Has to do with body chemical demand and reactions, and can happen if you're thin as a rail.

Last edited on Fri Jul 11th, 2008 08:17 pm by BigJ

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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 09:28 pm
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Kid_Naitch



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Aren't there two types of diabetes? One is lifestyle, one is hereditary?



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 Posted: Fri Jul 11th, 2008 10:30 pm
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srossi
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Beej has everything being cured.  lol  First cancer, now diabetes.  Beej will cure herpes over the weekend too.  :)



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 Posted: Sat Jul 12th, 2008 12:19 am
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Principal_Raditch



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Kid_Naitch wrote: Aren't there two types of diabetes? One is lifestyle, one is hereditary?

There's 3, Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational

Type 1 is where your Pancreas just fails to produce insulin. Usually genetic

Type 2 is where your pancreas is not able to produce as much insulin it needs or the uptake of glucose into your body's cells is not as efficient as it needs to be. This mostly (although not always) is the result of a combination of things including poor diet.

Gestational, which my wife had, affects some women during pregnancy. It usually resolves itself once the pregnancy is over, although these women have a much higher chance of developing type 2 later in life.

Now i'll say this. I've seen a huge increase in the number of patients rolling through our hospital with type 2, and it's only going to get worse. Optimally you want your fasting blood glucose to be between 90-120 or so. I've seen it as high at times as 675, but overall a shitload more individuals sitting @ 200. For many though using oral meds such as Metformin is becoming more commonplace, but the majority are using either novolin or novalog which are rapid/fast acting, and supplemented with Lantus at night.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 12th, 2008 12:23 am
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beejmi
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srossi wrote: Beej has everything being cured.  lol  First cancer, now diabetes.  Beej will cure herpes over the weekend too.  :)


Yeah it's been a helluva week or two.

I think Raditch has it pretty much right on though.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 12th, 2008 04:09 pm
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Quattro

 

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Principal_Raditch wrote: Kid_Naitch wrote: Aren't there two types of diabetes? One is lifestyle, one is hereditary?

There's 3, Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational

Type 1 is where your Pancreas just fails to produce insulin. Usually genetic

Type 2 is where your pancreas is not able to produce as much insulin it needs or the uptake of glucose into your body's cells is not as efficient as it needs to be. This mostly (although not always) is the result of a combination of things including poor diet.

Gestational, which my wife had, affects some women during pregnancy. It usually resolves itself once the pregnancy is over, although these women have a much higher chance of developing type 2 later in life.

Now i'll say this. I've seen a huge increase in the number of patients rolling through our hospital with type 2, and it's only going to get worse. Optimally you want your fasting blood glucose to be between 90-120 or so. I've seen it as high at times as 675, but overall a shitload more individuals sitting @ 200. For many though using oral meds such as Metformin is becoming more commonplace, but the majority are using either novolin or novalog which are rapid/fast acting, and supplemented with Lantus at night.
It's all that high fructose corn syrup that is in everything now.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 12th, 2008 04:34 pm
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HarryG
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Great news for Type 1 hardline cases!  They (especially the kids with the disease) have needed a break for a long time.

I have type 2..mainly because for the first 30 years of my life i was a fat-ass who ate way too much, never exercised, and could give a shit about myself.  For me, the diabetes was a final warning to live or die.

Dropped 90 lbs (at last count) watch my foosd intake, and take Glucophage to help my pancreas.  I even do the..."E-word" 3-4 times a week.  HATE exercising!  But you do what you gotta do.

My last 6 a1c tests (an twice-annual measurement of blood sugat levels) have all been above 5.5-which means that according to the test scale, I am NO LONGER diabetic.  I still am, but I'm as healthy as I'm ever going to be.



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