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Good News On the Diabetes Front

I am always afraid to get too excited about news of miracle cures. They all too often end up not panning out or still being so far down the road that I can't hope to enjoy them in my lifetime. This story linked by Drudge sounds promising though. I don't know enough about medical testing to know whether or not these tests are legit, but wanted to pass the info along for what it is worth.

In a discovery that has stunned even those behind it, scientists at a Toronto hospital say they have proof the body's nervous system helps trigger diabetes, opening the door to a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians.

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.

"I couldn't believe it," said Dr. Michael Salter, a pain expert at the Hospital for Sick Children and one of the scientists. "Mice with diabetes suddenly didn't have diabetes any more."

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.

But the excitement of the team from Sick Kids, whose work is being published today in the journal Cell, is almost palpable.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Dr. Hans Michael Dosch, an immunologist at the hospital and a leader of the studies. "In my career, this is unique."

Their conclusions upset conventional wisdom that Type 1 diabetes, the most serious form of the illness that typically first appears in childhood, was solely caused by auto-immune responses -- the body's immune system turning on itself.

They also conclude that there are far more similarities than previously thought between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and that nerves likely play a role in other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as asthma and Crohn's disease.

One big bonus I noticed -- no human embryos were killed in the process of this testing.

Comments (38)

Great news! There ... (Below threshold)

Great news!

There has been a cure for a while though, at least for type II: don't be fat, and certainly don't be obese. Eat right and exercise.

That is great news, but isn... (Below threshold)

That is great news, but isn't this just another example of entitlement? When will "Liberal" Americans take responsibility for keeping in shape?

And, if God didn't want us to go blind, he wouldn't have created masturbation. Follow the teachings of Christ, and you wont get diabetes.

I have been a Type 1 diabet... (Below threshold)

I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 36 years (since I was 7) and the amount of information that has appeared in the past couple of years about the causes of diabetes has been amazing.

The biggest question I have about this one is whether or not the islet cells will actually regenerate if the nerve condition is cured or if this will need to be combined with another type of treatment. The reason I ask this question is this might work better when someone is recently diagnosed and still has some insulin production left in place, as opposed to someone like me who has been diabetic for years.

Recently, the NIH also validated another study that detailed a way to reverse Type 1 in mice, interestingly enough, the longer a subject has been diabetic, th better this one seems to work



Okay, I lost a few dozen IQ... (Below threshold)

Okay, I lost a few dozen IQ points reading those first two comments. Do you guys really not know that Type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with being overweight or out of shape? JP2 seemed to at least have a vague idea.

Anyway, one of my daughter's best friends has Type 1 diabetes. He is ten years old and trim and in great shape, by the way. He organized a fund raiser to raise funds for juvenile diabetes research and he has been doing some stuff at school to help educate people about what diabetes is. Maybe some here would benefit from listening to the speech he gave to my daughter's fifth grade class.

Umm Lorie... about 90% of t... (Below threshold)

Umm Lorie... about 90% of type II diabetics are obese. Explain your personal attack, please.

How, by reading a true statement, did you lose IQ points?

Let's hope this discovery p... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Let's hope this discovery proves as significant as the discovery of insulin in 1921 by Drs. Best and Banting, for the treatment of diabetes, at the University of Toronto, a couple of hundred yards up the road, from the Hospital for Sick Children.

Thanks, Nancy! Oh, wait, th... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Thanks, Nancy! Oh, wait, this is from Canada; never mind.

FOAD jp2As an Adult ... (Below threshold)

FOAD jp2
As an Adult Onset Type 1, I agree with Lorie. You, in your smugness about fitness, are intentionally confusing the issue. I have been involved in the DCCT/EDIC research study since 1989. One reason is that most of the paternal side of my family has come down with the disease in their mid-thirties and the leading edge of my children are reaching that age now. BTW I was on jump status in Special Forces when I was diagnosed (fit enough for you?) and it ended my military career as fast as they could process the paperwork.

JP2:The exercise a... (Below threshold)


The exercise and diet is really a treatment, not a cure. The causes of Type II diabetes are not nearly was well understood as the causes of Type I. Is obesity a cause or a symptom? Still a lot of discussion on that point. The article Lorie reference seems to indicate that there is some type of malfunctioning nerve cell involved, is it also involved in type II?

When your blood sugar is high and your body still produces insulin, the extra insulin tells your body to convert the glucose to fat. Type II diabetics, as well a non-diabetics, have insulin left and can thus make fat. It seems that their bodies are not utilizing the insulin properly for burning glucose, but the liver still does it's job of converting that extra blood sugar to fat.

When this happens to a Type I diabetic, we turn ketotic and can this can lead to coma.

Personally, I don't care how much fat is in something nearly as much as I care how many carbs are in it.

After 37 years of being Type I, it is just a pain anymore. The worst risk I seem to face is just making it a matter of habit and not managing the condition as I should.

Diabetics of all types face increased risks of heart disease, stroke, amputation, blindness. We also tend to heal more slowly than other people, which it turns out may also be related to reduction in insulin levels. Any progress in finding a cure or better techniques to manage the disease easier is very welcome news to me.

I am a type I/II, just to c... (Below threshold)

I am a type I/II, just to confuse most of the people here. Got mine during the stress of law school.

I read the article closely, but it isn't clear about regeneration of islet cells. I would think they would not spontaneously regenerate after having been killed off during inception of type I.

So, maybe this will be of use to us type I's who get a transplant.

In the interim, I have an insulin pump, and take benfotiamine, a wonder "drug" that has been shown through a recent study to drastically reduce the endproducts that cause diabetic complications. I think the study was by Einstein College, some ed. establishment in New York.

Can read about it on NIH website. Since I've been taking it, no further progression of retinal changes--the best evidence of whether complications are occuring.

Excercise and diet are obviously also important, but you can't be perfect, and your body isn't (as mine has a genetic screw up, it certainly ain't).

Maybe Hunter College, I don... (Below threshold)

Maybe Hunter College, I don't know. It's my birthday, and I'm going to be lazy and nap.

"Is obesity a cause or a sy... (Below threshold)

"Is obesity a cause or a symptom? Still a lot of discussion on that point."

I don't know who it still "discussing," but they aren't very smart. The correlation between diabetes II and obesity is staggering. As you increase your weight, you increase your chance of having diabetes. Plenty of resources out there - the CDC for one:


Diet and exercise is better than a cure - it's prevention, and we all know the old saying...

It's frustrating to me as a taxpayer, since I have to pay for health coverage for a high number of uninsured diabetics, simply because they cannot control their appetite.

Another hit and run by Lorie. Clap clap.

Truly interesting, although... (Below threshold)

Truly interesting, although it might take years before this treatment is available.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to "Pancreas" by Weird Al.

One wonders whether jp2 equ... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

One wonders whether jp2 equally understands the frustrations of taxpayers who might not want to pay for health coverage and living expenses for a high number of welfare mothers, simply because they cannot control their pants, or even go and get an abortion (which, it should be noted, are still legal in all 50 states of the union)?

Another hit-and-run by jp2. Clap. Clap. Clap.

Jp2, you are missing the po... (Below threshold)

Jp2, you are missing the point. AGAIN.
There is a correlation between type 2 and obesity, but it is not known if it is one of causation.
There are plenty of non-diabetic fat people, and I know more than a couple of type 2 diabetics that aren't, and never were, fat.
Diet and excercise can help a diabetic lead a helthier happier life, but it is not a cure and there is no evidence that it is a silve bullet of prevention, either.
Now, if you want to discuss a silver bullet prevention of a medical condition: abstinence vs pregnancy :) With one famous exception, "no sex" is a surefire way to end up with "no baby". :)
But is that not of the right orthodoxy for you? ;)

JP..do you have diabetes?..... (Below threshold)

JP..do you have diabetes?.. I think not.. I do, as did my Grandmother, father, sister, and two brothers..were/ are any of them fat?..no!.. do ya think just MAYBE heredity plays a small part?.. Oh..and no..you're valuable taxes haven't been used for ANY of us! Better you back outta this issue cuz your talking out of your A$$.

A hit - and - run (Lorie st... (Below threshold)

A hit - and - run (Lorie style) means making a statement (in this case bizarre) with no actual reason or explanation for your statement. You'll notice that I have included facts and citations in my posts.

Clearly you two didn't read/understand the study, or any recent diabetes study. This is not surprising.

"Compared to adults with healthy weight (BMI values from 18.5 to 24.9), those with a body mass index of 40 or higher had an increased risk of being diagnosed with diabetes (7.37 times greater)..."

It cannot be spelled out more completely. The more fat you are, the greater the chance of you having diabetes. (But the CDC is known for it's liberal bias) Does that mean that all fat people are diabetic? No. Does that mean that all diabetics (II) are fat? Pretty much. (Some studies say 90%)

I don't understand what abortion and abstinence have to do with diabetes.

But to answer your two non-sequitor questions: no, I do not like paying for many of the people on welfare, nor do I like paying for peoples abortions. I am willing to invest in my country through taxes, but I do not fully support many of the causes, including our wasteful medical plans, wasteful social programs and wasteful wars.

geeze..more of the same.. k... (Below threshold)

geeze..more of the same.. keep digging JP..

Ran - there is a genetic co... (Below threshold)

Ran - there is a genetic compenent to diabetes. Lots of skinny people have type I. (Such as Adam Morrison, Chris Dudley)

As I stated in my posts, I am referring to adult onset diabetes or obesity related diabetes. And you are correct - genetics does play a role in that type as well.

Which type do you have?

FYI jp2 - I am 5'3" and wei... (Below threshold)

FYI jp2 - I am 5'3" and weighed 123 pounds at a size 6 when diagnosed as T2 - far from overweight, I was actually "underweight". Yes obesity can be one condition that leads to diabetes, but then how do you explain the underweight? Furthermore, my diabetes is more directly related to my lack of a thyroid - not my weight. Please understand a wide paint brush still misses spots.

One big bonus I noticed ... (Below threshold)

One big bonus I noticed -- no human embryos were killed in the process of this testing.

What happened to the recent collective Wizbang opinion that it's a disgusting act to make the non-political political? I guess it's OK now?

Guys, you're all so close t... (Below threshold)

Guys, you're all so close to agreeing on this it isn't funny. Calm down with the emotions a little. Take a cue from SCSI and add some emoticons.

Type I is that the pancreas produces little or no insulin. You have to have injections for that one to control glucose levels in the blood. No possible prevention available for this yet, but you can also help keep it under control with diet and exercise.

Type II diabetes in general is non-insulin-dependent, meaning the pancreas makes insulin but the amount is insufficiently released or the body cannnot properly use what is available. This type can be controlled without insulin injections, but through other meds, diet, and weight management. It isn't a cure, and there are (unless Lorie's info is proven true) many possible contributing factors to the cause. Obesity is one, heredity is one, diet is one, smoking is one...but there is a big spike in childhood Type II recently, which happens to correspond to findings that there are a lot more obese kids now than ever before. This isn't a smoking gun, but why not mangage the items we can control?

The point about prevention (as adults or kids) is mitigating risk. By changing things we can control; such as diet, not smoking and being fit, reduce the risk of getting Type II.


Jo - you are right. You are... (Below threshold)

Jo - you are right. You are an exception to the rule. Like I said, not all type II diabetics are obese. Just most of them. Somewhere from 50-90%.

JP.. I'm a type 2, as was a... (Below threshold)

JP.. I'm a type 2, as was all of my family with the possible exception of my grandmother, she was a tiny thing, maybe 5' tall 85 pounds. The VA attributes Agent Orange to type two's, but I doubt that, even tho I was exposed to it in Nam. I am a member of a diabetic site and we have a huge following of type 2's who were never considered heavy. Truth be known? I'm Irish, was brought up on meat and starches, I DO agree with your point of "Avoiding" Diabetes by watching your carb intake, which I preach to all 4 of my sons..considering our family's propensity for this disease. Oh..and I'm not on meds..Diet and exercise my last A1c was 5.1, which Scott and Mitchell will understand.

Ran, I hear you.My... (Below threshold)

Ran, I hear you.

My grandmothers had T2, and they were skinny.

My sister has T1, my brother has hypoglycemia which the Docs. think is linked to the genetic problem.

It's a difficult condition to manage since we are all human. Jp2 probably doesn't think twice about eating an ice cream, or cake, but for the rest of us, it's a math calculation (for dosing insulin) and a point of guilt.

I'm not as good as Ran in my management, although my Doc is fairly pleased with the lack of progression of complications lo these many years.

Walk in our shoes a bit before laying into us, JP. I'm sure you wouldn't want us micro-scrutinizing your every bad habit. We're all human. At least some of us!

what Mitchell said.. two fo... (Below threshold)

what Mitchell said.. two fold.. I'll only add that our "Task" is a 24/7 situation..we live it.. I get a bit fired up when I sense that someone is saying "You got what you deserved"... 4 purple hearts in Nam.. shot, stabbed, and run over as a narcotics cop.. those I asked for.. not Diabetes..nuff said..(off my soap box, back to just reading)

Good grief. Trolling on a d... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Good grief. Trolling on a diabetes post. How mature.

Even though (or maybe, because) it is the usual suspects, isn't it time to bring out the Ban hammer?

"Jo - you are right. You ar... (Below threshold)
Mr Carlson:

"Jo - you are right. You are an exception to the rule. Like I said, not all type II diabetics are obese. Just most of them. Somewhere from 50-90%."

jp2 has just answered the question with absolute scientific certainty.

P.S. With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Why don't you tell Adam Mor... (Below threshold)

Why don't you tell Adam Morrison of the Charlotte Bobcats (formerly Gonzaga U.) that he's fat?


(For for those unfamiliar with basketball, Adam Morrison measured in at 6 foot 6.5 in bare feet, 198 lbs. and 6.8% body fat in the 2005 pre-draft camp. He's been a Type I diabetes sufferer since 8th grade.)

It occurs to me as I scroll... (Below threshold)

It occurs to me as I scroll through this thread how quickly it takes on the "gotcha" tone of most others here, even though is's about as unpolitical as it gets. The increased risk of developing type 2 DM is hugely increased by obesity, especially large amounts of truncal fat (the "spare tire" around the waist). It is fact, not opinion, that around 85% of Type 2 diabetics are obese. Almost 15 million diabetics in this country, 10% w/Type 1. That leaves more than 2 million non-obese type 2s. Where's the dispute? Sounds like that's all jp2 was commenting on.

I'm sure that if Lee posted some facts straight from the CDC or ADA, the piling on would commence immediately, damn the facts. Not everything is political.

Not everything is political... (Below threshold)

Not everything is political, but the hatred and anger generated by the political fights on this board can certainly color other subjects, even the most non-politicial. Lee, jp2, BarneyG2000 and others don't seem to be 'happy' unless they're causing some sort of controversy. If there isn't one on a subject, they'll damn sure try to start one up - unless you look at something like the second post -

That is great news, but isn't this just another example of entitlement? When will "Liberal" Americans take responsibility for keeping in shape?
And, if God didn't want us to go blind, he wouldn't have created masturbation. Follow the teachings of Christ, and you wont get diabetes.
as being totally sensible and in-thread.

It's not about politics at all for some - it's about attention. And if they can't get it from reasonable posting, they'll start throwing shit - because the point is to get attention.

"It occurs to me as I scrol... (Below threshold)

"It occurs to me as I scroll through this thread how quickly it takes on the "gotcha" tone of most others here, even though is's about as unpolitical as it gets."

That's because turds like Barney2000 can't help but make everything political.

I'm always so surprised whe... (Below threshold)

I'm always so surprised when people do not seem to understand logic. To put this simply

Fact: large numbers of T2 sufferers are overweight.

Assumption: You get T2 because you are fat.

BUT just as likely you get fat as it is could be an early symptom of T2.

Current research does not prove one way or the other if fat leads to T2 or early T2 causes fat which later shows as full T2

As many have show here not all T2 are fat, nor where they when they developed T2. Unless one knows the EXACT mechanism that causes some condition, trying to blame or require some action is just not very smart. Let's all take joy in the fact that there may be some potential for those who have T1 or T2 to avoid so many of the problems they have.

Lee, jp2, BarneyG2000 an... (Below threshold)

Lee, jp2, BarneyG2000 and others don't seem to be 'happy' unless they're causing some sort of controversy.

By not including obvious trolls like jhow66 in this list, you show just how disingenuous you are.

Diabetes does things to you... (Below threshold)

Diabetes does things to your body that will likely make you more fat.

First there general infirmity and tiredness. This makes one less able to be active.

After that is the fact in T2 diabetics insulin release is not in proper control and you can get an over release resulting in a dramatic carb craving. This can play a role prior to someone not realizing they are diabetic. Hence for years they can have an exaggerated appetite for carbohydrates in particular. It is most people's inclination that eating if they are hungry doesn't contribute to weight gain so they are also less inclined to resist.

Continuing from my post abo... (Below threshold)

Continuing from my post above, this makes someone with Diabetes more likely to be fat, especially prior to diagnosis and education of how to cope with the disease.

Yes, being fat helps make your diabetes worse, but diabetes will also make you fat. It's a death spiral.

People are making the false conclusion that the disease began at moment of diagnosis.

Well, seeing as I've notice... (Below threshold)

Well, seeing as I've noticed jhow66 usually comments AFTER Lee and others start fling stuff around, I figured I'd simply label what I see as the main causes.

Shit, man, look at it. First two posts, and you get crap from the usual folks. Jhow66 start that? Or have I missed something?

jhow66 is great--he's only ... (Below threshold)

jhow66 is great--he's only responding to some inanity from some slob on the Left who trolls here.

He can't "troll," since he's actually someone who respects this blog and finds Lee, et al insufferable.

Like I do. jhow66 usually has said first what I was only thinking. I'm left with "Amen, brother."

How this thread went from a hopeful post about eradicating diabetes, to a rant over if you're fat or not, is completely absurd and shows a poor appreciation of difficulties faced by one's fellow man. But, there are people who see the worst in everything, I suppose.

Sad for them.






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