A Cure For Type 1 Diabetes For One Man It Seems To Have Worked
A new treatment using stem cells that produce insulin has surprised experts and given them hope for the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease.
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Brian Sheltons life was ruled by Type 1 diabetes.
When his blood sugar plummeted, he would lose consciousness without warning. He crashed his motorcycle into a wall. He passed out in a customers yard while delivering mail. Following that episode, his supervisor told him to retire, after a quarter century in the Postal Service. He was 57.
His ex-wife, Cindy Shelton, took him into her home in Elyria, Ohio. I was afraid to leave him alone all day, she said.
Early this year, she spotted a call for people with Type 1 diabetes to participate in a clinical trial by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The company was testing a treatment developed over decades by a scientist who vowed to find a cure after his baby son and then his teenage daughter got the devastating disease.
Mr. Shelton was the first patient. On June 29, he got an infusion of cells, grown from stem cells but just like the insulin-producing pancreas cells his body lacked.
Now his body automatically controls its insulin and blood sugar levels.
Its a whole new life, Mr. Shelton said. Its like a miracle.
But, he said, bottom line, it is an amazing result.
The Main Contender For A Type 1 Diabetes Cure
While you may see a variety of news articles each year with researchers claiming theyve found a successful cure for type 1 diabetes, the majority fail in animal trial and are never heard from again because they dont pass the early stages of long-term efficacy and safety.
The majority of it is really lined with hope, explainsKristina Figueroa, MSPH, who is an expert in type 1 diabetes clinical research and public health, and a passionate patient advocate.
Like most of us, Figueroa says that after her own type 1 diabetes diagnosis at age 6 in 1996, her healthcare team told her a cure was just around the corner. Due to the half dozen cures of type 1 diabetes in mice each year, it can seem that way.
Weve made huge advances, adds Figueroa, but were still nowhere close.
The researched treatment efforts closest to a successful cure come down to one, maybe two, that have the potential to progress through each critical trial phase.
And hopefully, one day becoming available to all patients with type 1 diabetes.
Could The Newly Devised Therapy Cure Diabetes Type 1
Althoughthere have been advances in the past to try and differentiate insulin-producinghormones from embryonic stemcells, functionaland mature B cells generation has proven elusive. As a result, scientists haveresearched and discovered the fate of immature hormones. According to the latest scientific news on type 1 diabetes, the cells are mobile and theenvironment they are exposed to influences them. It means pancreatic islet cells can be manufacturedfrom stem cells toreverse the disease.
Becauseimmunity is to blame for the destruction of beta islet, researchers are now looking at optionsin keeping the immune system stable, to cure type 1 diabetes. Studies show that there arereplacement therapies that can be used to generate beta cells from stem cells.
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The Revolutionary Stem Therapyin Type 1 Diabetes
2015figures recorded by CDC- Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention stated that at least 30 million US citizenshad been diagnosed with diabetes that year, while 415 million people are saidto suffer from the disease across the globe. Those that required daily insulin treatmentwere about 5 percent. This number continues to rise.
The standard treatmenttoday for type1 diabetesinvolves the monitoring of glucose levels and the injection of insulin to maintainhealthy blood sugar levels. Despite these measures, patients are still facedwith complications such as kidney and nerve problems. Uncontrolled diabetes type 1 can alsobe potentially fatal. When having Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas make little orno insulin. Insulin is responsible forallowing blood sugar to get into your cells for energy. Without which will cause bloodsugar to build up in the bloodstream.
A study done by theUniversity of Copenhagen shows that new pancreatic cells used to replace islets can benefit diabetes type 1 sufferers.The study shows how the production of insulin could be increased. Should stem therapy continue tobear fruit, it will offer realistic solutions for type 1 diabetics. Pancreas transplant is asolution that can solve the problem, but it does not come with a 100 percentsuccess rate and normally requires medication that suppresses immunity.
The Future Of Type I Diabetes
There is strong evidence that type 1 diabetes happens when an individual with a certain combination of genes comes into contact with a particular environmental influence. Past research has identified some good candidate genes, and raised suspicion on others. However, we know less about the nature of the particular changes in the involved genes, and how, as a result, their function may be different.
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Treatments For Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin as directed. Some people may use medical devices like an insulin pump so they don’t have to inject themselves with insulin multiple times a day. Each person’s schedule of taking insulin is tailored to their particular schedule and habits. Your doctor will help you figure out an insulin schedule that works for you.
Many people with type 1 diabetes benefit from following a meal plan to balance their insulin needs with how many carbohydrates they eat.
They must also monitor their blood sugar levels to make sure they don’t get too high or too low. People with type 1 diabetes can test using a drop of blood obtained through a finger-stick, or a wearable device called a continuous glucose monitor.
People with type 1 diabetes should wear a medical identification bracelet so first responders will know how to treat them during a medical emergency.
Ohio Man Appears To Be First In The World To Be Cured Of Type 1 Diabetes
ELYRIA, Ohio â A northeast Ohio man has a whole new grasp on life while making medical history after the successes of participating in a clinical trial.
What You Need To Know
- An Ohio resident may be the first person to be cured of type 1 diabetes
- The man, who lives in Elyria, participated in a clinical trial through Vertex Pharmaceuticals
- His body now controls its own insulin and blood sugar levels
- The results have amazed experts who are now hopeful for the more than 1.5 million people living with the disease
Type 1 diabetes has controlled Brian Sheltonâs life for more than 40 years.
He was diagnosed at the age of 21. As he aged, the autoimmune disease became harder to control. Heâs what doctors called a brittle diabetic, meaning his blood sugar swings were severe and frequent.
âI was a mail carrier for 30 years, and I would start walking up the street and then by the time I get to the end of the street I would pass out and start seizing right on somebody’s front yard, and I couldn’t get up,â Shelton said. âThat would almost be a daily thing.â
Heâs had an ambulance called for him hundreds of times, and even passed out on his motorcycle and crashed into a wall in 2020. Shelton currently lives with his ex-wife, Cynthia, who goes by Cindy.
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Check Blood Sugar Levels
Checking your blood sugar levels is another part of your diabetes treatment plan. It lets you know how well the other parts of your treatment like your insulin injections and meal plan are working.
Your diabetes care team may recommend that you use a continuous glucose monitor . A CGM is a wearable device that can measure blood sugar every few minutes around the clock. It’s measured by a thread-like sensor inserted under the skin and secured in place. Sensors can stay in place for about a week before they have to be replaced and are accurate enough to replace frequent finger-stick testing. The more frequent CGM blood sugar readings can help you and the care team do an even better job of troubleshooting and adjusting your insulin doses and diabetes management plan to improve blood sugar control.
A blood glucose meter or CGM tells you what your blood sugar level is at the moment. Your doctor may also send you for another type of blood sugar test that tells you how your blood sugar levels have been for the 3 months before the test.
Newly Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes
It can be difficult to know where to get started with your new type 1 diagnosis, but were here to help you find the information you need.
As well as reading through the guidance and advice on this page, why not try our Learning Zone? With videos, quizzes and interactive tools tailored just for you, its the perfect way to discover more about your diabetes.
“She made me feel normal, when my normal had completely changed.”
– Laura, on being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Read her story.
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Promising Early Results Show That Longstanding Harvard Stem Cell Institute Research May Have Paved The Way For A Breakthrough Treatment Of Type 1 Diabetes Utilizing Research From The Melton Lab Vertex Pharmaceuticals Has Developed Vx
The patient was treated with a single infusion of VX-880 at half the target dose in conjunction with immunosuppressive therapy. The patient, who was diagnosed with T1D 40 years ago and has been dependent on exogenous insulin, achieved successful engraftment and demonstrated rapid and robust improvements in multiple measures. These included increases in fasting and stimulated C-peptide, improvements in glycemic control, including HbA1c, and decreases in exogenous insulin requirement, signifying the restoration of insulin-producing islet cells.
VX-880 is not only a potential breakthrough in the treatment of T1D, it is also one of the very first demonstrations of the practical application of embryonic stem cells, using stem cells that have been differentiated into functional islets to treat a patient, explained Doug Melton, Ph.D., co-director of HSCI, is the Xander University Professor at Harvard and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Unlike prior treatments, this innovative therapy gives the patient functional hormone producing cells that control glucose metabolism. This potentially obviates the lifelong need for patients with diabetes to self-inject insulin as the replacement cells provide the patient with the natural factory to make their own insulin, explained Melton.
Can You Get Rid Of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects your bodys ability to make insulin. Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas that allows glucose to enter your cells.
The cells in your body use glucose from the foods you eat as a source of energy. If you have type 1 diabetes, though, your insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed. This means they no longer make enough insulin to process the glucose in your blood.
High levels of blood glucose can cause a variety of symptoms. You can typically manage the symptoms of type 1 diabetes by regularly checking your blood sugar levels and taking daily insulin injections.
No cure for type 1 diabetes currently exists, but promising research is ongoing. Read on to learn more about how doctors and scientists are working toward a cure for type 1 diabetes.
According to a research from 2021, current research into type 1 diabetes falls into three major categories.
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Other Research In Early Stages Of Development
The following studies and treatment methods to cure type 1 diabetes have not moved beyond curing type 1 diabetes in mice. If these attempts at curing type 1 diabetes progress to human trials, and are able to pass phases 1 through 4 of clinical trials, these approaches to curing type 1 diabetes are still a minimum of 20 years away from bringing a commercialized cure to the market.
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Enhancing The Survivalof Beta Cells
The insulin-producing cells live in clusters knownas islets containing different types of cells that produce hormones. Beta cells makeinsulin. Stem cell research for diabetes shows that islet transplantation canbe a successful alternative to insulin injections. This treatment does not require invasive surgeryand would be able to trigger better glucose control and reduces complicationscommon with type 1diabetes.
Although there ispromise with the stemtherapy as a formof treatment, derived stem islets tend to have a low survival rate. This is dueto the lack of adequate nutrients and oxygen. Researchers are now studying howthe shortage of nutrients and oxygen occurs and how the functioning of stemcell-derived beta cellscan be improved. Research has shown that beta cells can be trained to survive theseshortages before and after the process. Should this new approach be successful,there will be improved clinical options for the replacement of destroyed beta cells.
The current treatments for autoimmuneconditions such as diabetestype 1 neutralize the immune cells known to attack the healthy tissue.The problem is most of these therapies end up destroying cells that are functioning well in the body,leaving you exposed to other ailments. This is mostly a result of immunereactions against foreign cells.