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Diabetes Breakthrough(scientists cure disease in mice)
National Post ^ | Tom Blackwell,

Posted on 12/15/2006 8:44:37 AM PST by kellynla

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.

The "paradigm-changing" study opens "a novel, exciting door to address one of the diseases with large societal impact," said Dr. Christian Stohler, a leading U.S. pain specialist and dean of dentistry at the University of Maryland, who has reviewed the work.

"The treatment and diagnosis of neuropathic diseases is poised to take a dramatic leap forward because of the impressive research."

About two million Canadians suffer from diabetes, 10% of them with Type 1, contributing to 41,000 deaths a year.

Insulin replacement therapy is the only treatment of Type 1, and cannot prevent many of the side effects, from heart attacks to kidney failure.

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to shift glucose into the cells that need it. In Type 2 diabetes, the insulin that is produced is not used effectively -- something called insulin resistance -- also resulting in poor absorption of glucose.

The problems stem partly from inflammation -- and eventual death -- of insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas.

Dr. Dosch had concluded in a 1999 paper that there were surprising similarities between diabetes and multiple sclerosis, a central nervous system disease. His interest was also piqued by the presence around the insulin-producing islets of an "enormous" number of nerves, pain neurons primarily used to signal the brain that tissue has been damaged.

Suspecting a link between the nerves and diabetes, he and Dr. Salter used an old experimental trick -- injecting capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers, to kill the pancreatic sensory nerves in mice that had an equivalent of Type 1 diabetes.

"Then we had the biggest shock of our lives," Dr. Dosch said. Almost immediately, the islets began producing insulin normally "It was a shock ? really out of left field, because nothing in the literature was saying anything about this."

It turns out the nerves secrete neuropeptides that are instrumental in the proper functioning of the islets. Further study by the team, which also involved the University of Calgary and the Jackson Laboratory in Maine, found that the nerves in diabetic mice were releasing too little of the neuropeptides, resulting in a "vicious cycle" of stress on the islets.

So next they injected the neuropeptide "substance P" in the pancreases of diabetic mice, a demanding task given the tiny size of the rodent organs. The results were dramatic.

The islet inflammation cleared up and the diabetes was gone. Some have remained in that state for as long as four months, with just one injection.

They also discovered that their treatments curbed the insulin resistance that is the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes, and that insulin resistance is a major factor in Type 1 diabetes, suggesting the two illnesses are quite similar.

While pain scientists have been receptive to the research, immunologists have voiced skepticism at the idea of the nervous system playing such a major role in the disease. Editors of Cell put the Toronto researchers through vigorous review to prove the validity of their conclusions, though an editorial in the publication gives a positive review of the work.

"It will no doubt cause a great deal of consternation," said Dr. Salter about his paper.

The researchers are now setting out to confirm that the connection between sensory nerves and diabetes holds true in humans. If it does, they will see if their treatments have the same effects on people as they did on mice.

Nothing is for sure, but "there is a great deal of promise," Dr. Salter said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: diabetes; type1diabetes; wonderdrugs
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1 posted on 12/15/2006 8:44:38 AM PST by kellynla
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To: kellynla

Ice cream and hot fudge for everyone!!


2 posted on 12/15/2006 8:46:51 AM PST by jbwbubba
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To: kellynla

Will the wonders of embryonic stem cells never cease? Oh ... wait ....


3 posted on 12/15/2006 8:47:54 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Prayers for our patriot brother, 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub. Brian, we're all pulling for you!)
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To: b_sharp; neutrality; anguish; SeaLion; Fractal Trader; grjr21; bitt; KevinDavis; Momaw Nadon; ...
FutureTechPing!
An emergent technologies list covering biomedical
research, fusion power, nanotech, AI robotics, and
other related fields. FReepmail to join or drop.

4 posted on 12/15/2006 8:47:57 AM PST by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: kellynla

Pass the sugar!


5 posted on 12/15/2006 8:48:43 AM PST by Oratam
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To: kellynla
"It will no doubt cause a great deal of consternation," said Dr. Salter about his paper.

I bet it will. There was no mention of "stem cells" in this report. If they don't need stem cells for this, how will they get the government funding earmarked for the hot new thing?

6 posted on 12/15/2006 8:49:30 AM PST by MichiganConservative (The US is so full of domestic enemies, maybe all we can do is slow the inevitable ascent of tyranny.)
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To: kellynla

I hope this is true!!


7 posted on 12/15/2006 8:49:36 AM PST by areafiftyone (Politicians Are Like Diapers - Both Need To Be Changed Often And For The Same Reason)
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To: Apple Blossom

Ping


8 posted on 12/15/2006 8:49:55 AM PST by bmwcyle (McCain nomination assures a Hillary win)
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To: trifona

Big time ping.


9 posted on 12/15/2006 8:49:57 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: kellynla
injecting capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers,

See? See? I've been telling y'all that spicy food was good for you!

10 posted on 12/15/2006 8:50:08 AM PST by CholeraJoe (Spork weasels ain't afraid of nuthin' but running out of sardines.)
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To: jbwbubba
"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."

That last sentence is just plain unsat.

11 posted on 12/15/2006 8:50:08 AM PST by Romish_Papist
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To: nnn0jeh

ping


12 posted on 12/15/2006 8:50:12 AM PST by kalee (No burka for me....EVER!)
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To: kellynla
Wow,if this proves true,it's big.Diabetes is a major (indirect) cause of disability and death in this country.No diabetes means fewer heart attacks,fewer amputations of feet and legs....
13 posted on 12/15/2006 8:50:32 AM PST by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
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To: kellynla

Wow.

Extremely cool. Extremely wonderful, if it can be fashioned into a cure or near-cure for humans.


14 posted on 12/15/2006 8:51:13 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: kellynla

BTTT
Wonderful news, if true.


15 posted on 12/15/2006 8:52:58 AM PST by ARealMothersSonForever
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To: Oratam
I could have told them that. I am a fibromyalgia (chronic pain and fatigue) that suffered until a doctor got my sugar levels under control. Now the pain has lessened dramatically if not disapeared. As long as I control the sugar, I am functioning.
16 posted on 12/15/2006 8:54:20 AM PST by KYGrandma (Kentucky girl who wants to go home)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Assume they're talking about Type 2...


17 posted on 12/15/2006 8:54:34 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: kellynla

My jaw dropped as I read this article. Needs IMMEDIATE replication research. Absolutely astonishing.


18 posted on 12/15/2006 8:54:52 AM PST by FormerACLUmember
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To: NonValueAdded
Will the wonders of embryonic stem cells never cease? Oh ... wait ....

Classic! I would love to hear Michael J. Fox explain how something like this could (possibly) be discovered without having to kill any babies!

19 posted on 12/15/2006 8:55:25 AM PST by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: kellynla

I'm praying that this is true!


20 posted on 12/15/2006 8:55:57 AM PST by pgkdan
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Assume they're talking about Type 2...

Actually types 1 and 2. Originally found working on mice with type 1.

21 posted on 12/15/2006 8:57:10 AM PST by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: kellynla
Insulin replacement therapy is the only treatment of Type 1, and cannot prevent many of the side effects, from heart attacks to kidney failure.

Anybody have an opinion on the truth of this? When our daughter was diagnosed, we were told proper blood suger management would prevent almost all of the nasty effects. Many of the problems like blindness, bad limbs and heart problems were mostly associated with type 2 patients that went around with 500 blood sugar for 10 years.

22 posted on 12/15/2006 8:57:15 AM PST by Minn
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To: areafiftyone

Me too, I was diagnosed with Type 2 about a year and a half ago and thought the only promising thing out there was Byetta. This gives some hope. Although I'll be surprised if it hits any market within the next 20 years, there's just too much money to be made by big pharma by treating the symptoms, not curing the disease. You ever notice we don't cure diseases anymore, they just find ways to deal with the symptoms and sell you bottles of pills every month. Very lucrative.


23 posted on 12/15/2006 8:57:25 AM PST by rednesss
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To: kellynla

Thanks for the post! I just informed a friend with Type2.


24 posted on 12/15/2006 8:57:31 AM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: kellynla

It would be nice if they would speed this up a bit, just can't wait around.


25 posted on 12/15/2006 8:57:34 AM PST by ANGGAPO (LayteGulfBeachClub)
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To: ConservaTexan
Classic! I would love to hear Michael J. Fox explain how something like this could (possibly) be discovered without having to kill any babies!

Get a grip! No one is saying they can't go get a black-market baby and have a good, old-fashioned, Carthaginian, Baal-worshipping human sacrifice.

26 posted on 12/15/2006 8:57:42 AM PST by MichiganConservative (The US is so full of domestic enemies, maybe all we can do is slow the inevitable ascent of tyranny.)
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To: Romish_Papist

*shrug* You can always volunteer to be a guinea pig...


27 posted on 12/15/2006 8:57:53 AM PST by null and void (Time flies/My time crawls/Like an insect/Up and down the walls)
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To: kellynla
potential near-cure

well, that's a step to a cure!
28 posted on 12/15/2006 8:59:24 AM PST by VOA
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To: kellynla

How wonderful! My dear husband was diagnosed with this disease a year ago and it has been awful. He takes care to follow the diet because his grandmother lost both legs to it and he remembers that all too well. What hopeful news!


29 posted on 12/15/2006 9:00:02 AM PST by twigs
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To: kellynla
...a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians.

Hmmmmmm, I'm gonna have to have a long talk with my doctor. He's been telling me I have diabetes for years, yet I now find out it only afflicts Canooks!

30 posted on 12/15/2006 9:00:07 AM PST by randog (What the...?!)
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To: kellynla

This would be a wonderful christmas present to many, prayers that this is cured.


31 posted on 12/15/2006 9:00:40 AM PST by CJ Wolf
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To: CholeraJoe

"injecting capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers,"

I wonder what the band members thought of having all their capsaicin extracted.


32 posted on 12/15/2006 9:02:20 AM PST by FastCoyote
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To: Minn

Good treatment can minimize damage. Still, even under the best control you are not going to have normal sugar levels. There will be some complications, although hopefully not severe. I get checked out every year (blood tests, eye capillaries, check for nerve damage, etc.). So far, so good. But one day they will find something. That's just the way it is. I've had Type 1 for 13 years.

I'd like to believe this story is true. But I don't. probably just angling for a grant. We'll see.


33 posted on 12/15/2006 9:04:39 AM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Euphorion Falls)
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To: randog
Hmmmmmm, I'm gonna have to have a long talk with my doctor. He's been telling me I have diabetes for years, yet I now find out it only afflicts Canooks!

That's how I felt when they told me I had sickle-cell anemia.

34 posted on 12/15/2006 9:04:42 AM PST by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: null and void

Eh, I'm just edgy to see results. Not diabetic but I think a cure would be amazing.


35 posted on 12/15/2006 9:07:09 AM PST by Romish_Papist
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To: The Shrew; Nick Danger

Ping.


36 posted on 12/15/2006 9:07:30 AM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: Minn
Anybody have an opinion on the truth of this? When our daughter was diagnosed, we were told proper blood suger management would prevent almost all of the nasty effects. Many of the problems like blindness, bad limbs and heart problems were mostly associated with type 2 patients that went around with 500 blood sugar for 10 years.

My mother was diagnosed at age 18 with Type 1 diabetes, and died a few years ago at age 59 from the effects of the disease. By the end, her entire metabolism was way out of whack, her sugar nearly uncontrollable, her digestion dysfunctional, and she was suffering from hypertension.

The good news for you is 1) Mom still had her feet and toes, 2) Mom could still see as well as ever (she was awfully nearsighted from youth), and 3) Mom was a drinker and smoker who didn't eat right, didn't control her weight, and didn't exercise.

Your daughter ought to be able to do far better than my mother did, if she even gives it half an attempt.

37 posted on 12/15/2006 9:07:56 AM PST by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Wow, hope it is true. My sister had to have the lower part of her leg amputated last year due to diabetes. I wonder if consuming foods high in capsacin could have similar effect?


38 posted on 12/15/2006 9:08:19 AM PST by texgal (end no-fault divorce laws return DUE PROCESS & EQUAL PROTECTION to ALL citizens))
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To: kellynla

If you could actually cure diabetes you would slice a BIG chunk out of the nation's health care cost.


39 posted on 12/15/2006 9:09:15 AM PST by DManA
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To: kellynla

BFLR = Bump for later reading


40 posted on 12/15/2006 9:09:47 AM PST by Kevmo (Darn, if only I had signed up 4 days earlier, I'd have a 3-digit Freeper #)
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To: pgkdan

if I had diabetis I'd be getting a bottle of this TODAY, and hope that dosing myself with it would allow some of it to work its way thru circulation into the pancreas.....I believe that at least SOME would get there, and that it is otherwise harmless:

http://www.sweatnspice.com/proddetail.php?prod=67


41 posted on 12/15/2006 9:10:47 AM PST by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: kellynla

This is potentially a very big deal for almost everyone who draws breath. But if I had a dollar for every "it works on mice but won't be tried on humans for at least 2 years" medical breakthrough story that was never heard from again, I'd be rich. I would love to think this one will pan out, but we certainly do seem to have a lot of researchers getting grants off results that hit the news with a splash and, for whatever reason, never deliver. As always, time will tell.


42 posted on 12/15/2006 9:11:02 AM PST by Route66 (America's Main Street)
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To: Romish_Papist

Me too! Only, I am a diabetic!


43 posted on 12/15/2006 9:18:28 AM PST by null and void (Time flies/My time crawls/Like an insect/Up and down the walls)
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To: Route66
People whose kids were diagnosed 20 years ago have been hearing the "cure is right around the corner" stuff forever. I wonder how much these "reports" have to do with trying to increase donations for research.

As a parent of TWO type 1's, I hope this turns into something.

44 posted on 12/15/2006 9:18:50 AM PST by Lizavetta
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To: Oratam

Have a Coke (tm) and a Smile!


45 posted on 12/15/2006 9:19:54 AM PST by epluribus_2
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To: texgal
I wonder if consuming foods high in capsacin could have similar effect?

I don't know, but a preventive dose couldn't do any harm. I'd best go find some right away! =]


46 posted on 12/15/2006 9:20:34 AM PST by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: kellynla

Ho. Lee. Crap. I hope and pray that this works for my kid.


47 posted on 12/15/2006 9:20:56 AM PST by r9etb
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To: kellynla
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...
..snip...
...About two million Canadians suffer from diabetes, 10% of them with Type 1, contributing to 41,000 deaths a year.

But this will only help Canadians...apparently.

48 posted on 12/15/2006 9:22:23 AM PST by rock58seg (NO McCAIN, NO STAIN, NO PAIN, ONLY GAIN)
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To: rednesss

Never underestimate the power of negative thinking.


49 posted on 12/15/2006 9:22:27 AM PST by 2ndClassCitizen
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To: NonValueAdded

"Will the wonders of embryonic stem cells never cease? Oh ... wait ...."

No, it isn't stem cell research, but it is biology -- the same biology that, applied as natural selection, mustn't be taught lest it contradict beliefs of ancient desert tribes.


50 posted on 12/15/2006 9:23:30 AM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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