New medicine may bring relief to many suffering from diabetes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/30/10

New medicine may bring relief to many suffering from diabetes

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By Karin McCay| email

Edited by Kristin Beerman | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Blurred vision, unusual thirst and frequent urination are classic symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.  It's an autoimmune disease where the body destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas called islet cells, so the body can no longer regulate blood sugar.

Now there is something new and scientists are excited about a new vaccine they believe could lead to a cure for diabetes. It's called Dyamid and clinical trials are already underway at the University of Maryland.

"Kids and young adults, when they are first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, they have approximately half of their own islet cells left," said Debra Counts, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Maryland.  "And the idea of this research is to try and preserve what remains of those insulin producing cells because that's really the first step in developing a cure down the road."

Dr. Counts says by giving the vaccine to patients within three months of their diagnosis. The hope is that it will stop the body from destroying islet cells, and instead save what they have left.  Dr. Count says this two year study has the potential to not just provide a cure, but maybe even prevent Type 1 diabetes from developing in people who are high risk.

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