8682 –

GeotargetShopping with inlaws went very well. Good stuff for bhk, newtie, pye and tina, too – Also got a prezzie in the mail from Kev via amazon… BHK wisely confiscated the invoice, so it’ll be a surprise to me when it’s opened on Christmas.

via scans_daily. Good ol’ Rebis. I’m Sill partial to Cliff, though.

– via sebab

 Diabetes breakthrough
     Toronto scientists cure disease in mice

           Tom Blackwell
           National Post

     Friday, December 15, 2006

     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

     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

     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

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

     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. {they must consider PTX as “drug
replacement therapy; though we all do recognize thas a tx is only
a treatment not a cure}

     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.

1 year ago – king kong, nighttime pix, newtie pix, boosh quote, meme,

2 years ago – Mel born again, good times, steak, spazzy newt pic, earthsea whitewashed, comic book art I like, Chipmunks Roasting On An Open Fire

3 years ago – Tree, political compass poll, air stiff, Trained MM, flight method poll, programming notes

4 years ago – Clinton and Demi?, Sounds of Christmas, planned epidural

5 years ago – Aragon’s verse, social crit, no *taunting*?!, WiD gig

6 years ago – Meeting Tarpo and Isis in a day, liberal actors don’t bail don’t leave, planet of the apes remake


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