Thursday, December 6, 2012

Could the TB Vaccine Cure Type 1 Diabetes??


Here is a little mind-blowing action for you. I recently came across an article talking about how the TB vaccine can be used to cure diabetes. Well maybe not cure, but is reversing the autoimmune response and causing islet cells (insulin producing cells) to regenerate. Mind-blowing isn’t it??


It all began with a publication by a scientist named Faustman who had raised the tumor necrosis factor (a fancy word for something that causes inflammation similar to arthritis) in mice. The increase in TNF caused a decrease in the t-cells and with those out of the picture islet cells were able to regenerate. Then some other scientist replicated her findings and found similar results, which lead to the clinical trials on humans.

The results came back from the clinical trials with some patient’s restoration of insulin lasting a week making Faustman want to increase the frequency of shots. Now, it is too early to know if this is something that will cure diabetes and there is still some skepticism about how the study was done, but I can tell you I have a feeling that the cure will happen in my lifetime if we keep progressing the way we do. 

As Chief Executive Jeffrey Brewer says “curing type 1 diabetes may finally be within reach, but it will be a marathon, not a sprint” 

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