stem cell alternative therapy diabetes by jenny3289 .....

alternative therapy diabetes stem cells

Date:   2/7/2006 9:24:30 AM ( 17 y ago)


Some of the most promising research being conducted to treat and cure diabetes involves stem cell transplantation. Stem cells are primitive master cells which can be programmed to become many kinds of tissues. Researchers at Stanford University have been able to coax immature brain stem cells to develop into insulin-producing islet cells that are lacking in diabetes. It is hoped that eventually these islet cells could be used for curative transplants. The research team found that when they added chemicals to brain stem cells, the cells changed and though they were not identical to islet cells, they were able to produce insulin in response to blood sugar levels. They then transplanted these stem cells into a cavity in the kidneys of mice. When the mice's blood sugar went up, the transplanted brain stem cells released insulin. Even 4 weeks later these stem cells were still alive and producing insulin.
It is hoped that stem cells could be used to replace islet cells in people with Type 1 diabetes. Stem cells could be cultivated and coaxed into developing into the insulin-producing islet cells of the pancreas. With a ready supply of cultured stem cells available, they could be grown up as needed for anyone requiring a transplant. Researchers at Harvard have shown complete reversal of juvenile diabetes in mice using adult spleen cells. Other research reports that of 250 Diabetics, 200 were able to discard their insulin injections for over a year after islet cell transplantation from cadavers. Researchers are making remarkable progress in the quest to treat and cure diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or is unable to properly use insulin. In order for the body to turn food into energy, insulin is needed to convert sugars, starches and other foods into that energy. There are two major types of diabetes - Type 1 which is also sometimes referred to as juvenile-onset dependent, and Type 2 sometimes referred to as adult-onset dependent.
Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to survive. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans have Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance combined with relative insulin deficiency. This form of diabetes is the most common, and usually occurs in people over 40 who are overweight and have a family history of diabetes. Two other forms of diabetes are gestational diabetes which occurs in pregnant women and pre-diabetes which is a condition that occurs when a person's blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. It is estimated there are 18.2 million people in the United States with diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, weight loss, being very thirsty, increased hunger, irritability, blurry vision, tingling or numbness in hands or feet, frequent skin, bladder or gum infections, wounds that don't heal and extreme unexplained fatigue. Diabetes is diagnosed through a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. It is vital that diabetes be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible because it can lead to other very serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and blood clots that may require amputation. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U. S.

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