Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that suppressing a single hormone may eliminate the need for insulin injections and may make the condition completely asymptomatic.
Truth is, there's still a ways to go in "curing" type 1 diabetes since the researchers only conducted lab tests with mice. But they found that suppressing the hormone glucagon renders insulin unnecessary. The new findings show that glucagon may play a large role, perhaps even larger than insulin, in controlling glucose levels. Dr. Roger Unger, the study's chief researcher, on the discovery:
"We've all been brought up to think insulin is the all-powerful hormone without which life is impossible, but that isn't the case. If diabetes is defined as restoration of glucose homeostasis to normal, then this treatment can perhaps be considered very close to a 'cure.'"
The effect will still have to be proven in humans but Unger and his team are very hopeful that they're on the right path. [Endocrine Web]
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