Between 400 and 2,000 American type 1 patients , according to medical experts at the University of Chicago, can stabilize their insulin levels with sulfonylurea pills, and forever rid themselves of daily glucose monitoring and insulin pumps.
Between 400 and 2,000 American type 1 patients , according to medical experts at the University of Chicago, can stabilize their insulin levels with sulfonylurea pills, and forever rid themselves of daily glucose monitoring and insulin pumps. About a year ago,experts at the University of Chicago discovered that the reason this small subgroup suffers from type 1 diabetes is not destructive autoimmune response, but because of a genetic mutation that stymies the release of insulin from pancreatic cells. Though left unharmed, the cells might remain dormant for a lifetime. All the U. of C. experts did was 'wake' these cells up.
For the small number of type 1 patients who know that they suffer from the treatable mutation, the impact of the discovery was of course astounding. Instead of 14 or so daily
blood glucose checks, such patients now have to take sulfonylurea pills four times a day. The pills serve to repair the “sleeping” state of the pancreatic cells.
Genetic tests can determine whether a patient has this mutation. Indeed, U of C medical school has been receiving increasing numbers of inquires since the publish date – September 11th 2007 - of the case of Lily Jaffe's recovery, about a year ago. Now, the Tribune reports, she's much more outgoing and enjoys her life much more.
Now, there might some news for type 2 patients as well. As the story of the first case of type 1 recovery via this method - that of 6-year-old Lily Jaffe - circulated in newspapers and television stations, many patients contacted the U. of C. medical center to see if they also had the treatable mutation. One such family of four diabetes patients tested negative for both the treatable mutation and for the typical self-effacing?? autoimmune response. Researcher different mutated gene, which experts were later able to link to insulin secretion. This admittedly is a far cry from reversing insulin resistance, but now that a gene associated with insulin secretion has been identified, medicine has taken a step further towards understanding the inner workings of the disease.
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