Infusions In Mice Lead To Cured Diabetes, Could It Help People?
Exciting news in research this week. The medical journal Cell reports that scientists in Toronto, Canada cured diabetes in mice by injecting a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas. Injection of the peptide repaired the pain neurons and apparently resulted in beta cells producing insulin again. Advances in this area could benefit people suffering from both Type 1 and Type 2. If you’re a research geek like me, you’ll want to read the Cell Journal article for yourself: TRPV1 Sensory Neurons Control B Cell Stress and Islet Inflammation in Autoimmune Diabetes
Any research breakthrough used to excite me. A cure felt imminent early in my son’s diagnosis because I was so desperate for one. Now, I take a deep breath before I get taken away with the research. I realize that any advancement in the lab can take years, if not decades to translate into a treatment for our loved ones. Developing a drug is a long, expensive process with unseen roadblocks that can derail the whole effort. It took years to develop a drug like Byetta, not to mention the time to gain FDA approval.
A very successful (and healthy) friend of mine who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 30 years, once said to me “wake me up when they find a cure”. After living with diabetes in our family for only four years I’m beginning to see what he means. So many advances, yet still no cure. I do feel that Dosch, Razavi, and Salter, et. al. team’s work is phenomenal, and could mean something for my son but I temper my excitement with my friend’s pragmatism.
On a hopeful note, insulin was discovered by Frederick Banting (along with Charles Best and James Collip) in John Macleod’s lab in Toronto Canada in 1921 and by the end of 1922 Eli Lilly was mass producing it for diabetes patients, saving countless lives worldwide. We can only hope for the timeline on this latest Toronto breakthrough to move that quickly. Because as a parent, I’m wide a wake, and I want a cure for our children and loved ones NOW.
Published On: December 22, 2006