Trial aims to ‘stall’ type 1 diabetes – bbc news

In type 1 diabetes the immune system destroys the cells that make insulin, the hormone needed to control blood sugar levels. Late onset type 1 diabetes symptoms The hope is the treatment will re-train or reset the immune system.

All the patients being recruited have been recently diagnosed with type 1 and so still have some remaining beta cells – which are found in the pancreas and are responsible for making insulin.

Prof Mark Peakman, King’s College London, who is leading the trial, said: “If we get in with this therapy early enough we may be able to protect the beta cells that remain in those patients so that they continue to make some of their own insulin which would give them better control of blood glucose and mean their risk of future complications of diabetes is reduced.”

Natalie, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December 2014 and needs to inject insulin four times a day in order to keep her blood glucose levels stable, said: “I’m hoping the injections will slow down the progression of my diabetes so that I can live a more normal life.”

She said: “It was a big shock when I found out I had type 1. Reversing type 1 diabetes naturally I was keen to volunteer for something that may help find a cure at some point in the future.” Protective response

In healthy people the immune system has a complex system of checks and balances to enable it to destroy harmful pathogens – but not healthy tissue.

Signs of type 1 diabetes in child Part of the regulation is done by T regulatory cells, which suppress the immune response from attacking the body.

In type 2 diabetes, the body either fails to produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Type 1 diabetes in babies Around 90% of adults with diabetes have type 2, and it tends to develop later in life than type 1.

The primary goal of the study is to assess the safety of the treatment, but researchers will also be looking at its effectiveness including whether any protective effect continues after the injections have stopped.

Prof Peakman said laboratory and animal model research had produced promising results, and early studies in patients showed some potentially important immune and metabolic changes.

Jack Meaning, aged 29, an economist, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2014. Type 1 diabetes statistics He was on a trial of an earlier, simpler version of the immunotherapy, MonoPepT1De, which has now been completed, although the results have yet to be published.

He said: “It’s been fantastic. Juvenile onset diabetes The trial finished nine months ago but my blood glucose control continues to be really tight. Difference between type1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms To my mind, a large part of that is a result of the study I was on.”

If the current trial is successful then the eventual aim is to test the treatment in children, before diabetes develops, with the goal of preventing the loss of insulin production.

Karen Addington, UK Chief Executive of JDRF said: “If we can teach the immune system to stop attacking the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas we can potentially prevent type 1 diabetes from developing.

Researchers at the Biomedical Research Unit at Guy’s hospital are still recruiting for their trial. Difference between type1 and type 2 diabetes Volunteers need to be aged 18-45 and have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the last four years.