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New Study Could End Insulin Dependence Of Type-1 Diabetics

Diabetes Equipment.stevepb/Pixabay

Patients suffering from Type-1 diabetes depend on insulin injections in order to manage the level of the hormone in their bodies. Doing this on a daily basis is not only inconvenient, it can also be incredibly costly. Thanks to a new study, scientists are closer to alleviating this burden on patients by making them independent of insulin.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study involves transplanting islet cells from the pancreas to the protective tissue that surrounds internal organs called the omentum.

In the course of the study, researchers had a 43-year-old female patient as a test subject who had Type-1 diabetes. The patient was receiving a daily dose of insulin shots at the start of the experiment, which was then discontinued after just 17 days following the transplant.

“In this patient, islet transplantation onto the omentum restored euglycemia and insulin independence,” the paper reads. “A functional decline was observed at 12 months with an increase in insulin sensitivity, which we speculate may have been due to the switch from tacrolimus to sirolimus. The patient continued to have stable glycemic control without exogenous insulin and without episodes of hypoglycemia.”

As Futurism reports, there are plenty of research going on to fix the ongoing insulin dependence of patients with type-1 diabetes. However, this is the first study that presented a solution from inside the body of the patients instead of using external sources.

The study is still in its early stages and it will take quite some time before the method is ready for human trials. Additional study on the effects of an islet transplant in the tissue of patients will need to be conducted to find side-effects as well as to see if it causes allergic reactions.

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