Diabetes has become an epidemic. More than 400 million people worldwide are enslaved by this condition. Diabetes is the major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. The number of people affected by all types of diabetic disorders is now over four times higher than before. It will soon be the seventh biggest cause of death worldwide. Science is, therefore, striving to find cures for this condition. Below listed are a few of the possible future treatments for diabetes.
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Potential Future Treatments For Diabetes
Cell therapy is the process of replacing the missing cells which produce insulin, the hormone which controls blood sugar. Scientists have been working to develop treatments using stem cells but transforming these cells and replacing them in the pancreas.
Diabetes Research Institute in the US has developed a mini-organ where insulin-producing cells are introduced. The approach is in an ongoing phase but has been yielding positive results. A Belgian company and other pharmaceuticals have been working on this approach to cure this disease. The scientific society is hopeful to start clinical trials within the next few years. Although the technology is still far from the market and the technology will come with an expensive price tag but it will be a price to pay for the benefits it has.
Attacking the origin with immunotherapy
Type 1 diabetes an autoimmune disease where the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are detected as foreign and destroyed by the body. As it is an autoimmune disease, immunotherapies have started being investigated as an approach to treat a number of different autoimmune conditions, among them type 1 diabetes. The objective of this technology is to interrupt this autoimmune process. Imcyse, a company, is developing immunotherapy that consists of injecting a molecule that makes the system produce a new type of immune cell that targets the cells which kill beta cells. This company is currently clinically testing this method. The results are expected by this autumn.
Stimulating insulin production
Neovacs, a french based company, aims to block the excess of cytokine production, whose overexpression causes autoimmune diseases. For this, the company is developing a vaccine that stimulates the immune system to neutralize the specific protein that is being produced in excess. In type 1 diabetes, that protein is known as interferon-alpha. It attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells. This type of treatment will make treatment easier and fairly cheaper.
Its a clinical trial is expected to start soon and people from aged 18-25 are being recruited for this.
New research and investigations have shown the effect of gut bacteria on the efficacy of type 2 diabetes drugs. There is a strong relationship between our gut bacteria and the immune system. The bacteria here are engineered to produce the insulin precursor human proinsulin and a signaling molecule called interleukin 10. Together they signal the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, where immune cells are stored, to restore the tolerance of insulin-producing cells with the goal of slowing down or stopping their destruction.
Ultrasound to boost insulin
There are about 100 million adults in the United States suffering from type 2 diabetes. In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces too little insulin. To treat this condition, increased production of insulin is required. Drugs help increase insulin production but its effectiveness will be reduced over time.
A recent study in mice concludes that targeted ultrasound could be an effective, noninvasive, drug-free way to boost insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers believe that ultrasound might provide a way forward. Scientists have shown that ultrasound can encourage cultured beta cells to release insulin. Ultrasound stimulated the endocrine tissue, which caused the spike in insulin. This method might be a future cure for type 2 diabetes.