Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Understanding Juvenile Diabetes

In Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, the hormone insulin does not work the way it should and blood levels can go out of control. People with this form of diabetes need to be given insulin to control the blood sugar and help with the basic metabolic pathways of the body. There is a theory that for some reason the body's immune system actually attacks insulin. This is why it doesn't work. Scientists have struggled to understand what causes the body to turn against itself in Type 1 diabetes. Essentially, the immune system destroys pancreatic cells that normally produce the blood sugar regulating hormone insulin. Researchers have struggled to find out why. That's because it is a disease that affects one in every 400 to 500 children and adolescents in the United States. According to a report in the journal Nature, scientists studied mice that actually developed Type 1 diabetes and engineered them to lack normal insulin. Using those mice, they are trying to do what they can to find out secrets.

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