Monday, 31 May 2010

Potential Cure For Diabetes Within Sight

Potential Cure For Diabetes Within Sight

A potential new cure for diabetes is within sight, based on advances in cell therapy, thanks to the work of Tel Aviv University researchers.

Diabetes is a debilitating condition that afflicts eight percent of Americans and can lead to blindness, kidney failure, strokes and heart disease. Shimon Efrat of Tel Aviv Universitys Sackler Faculty of Medicine has developed a way to cultivate cells derived from insulin-producing beta cells from human tissue in the lab.

It may be possible to implant these new healthy cells into patients with type 1 diabetes. If successful, this method, which artificially replicates the insulin cells people need, could ensure that fewer people will die while waiting for a life-saving pancreas and kidney. Efrats research paves the way for new and alternative forms of treatment in cases in which organ transplantation is not an option. And one day, the procedure may become as simple as a blood transfusion. Type 1 diabetes, the most severe form of the condition, emerges in childhood or early adulthood, when the bodys immune system stops working properly and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas.

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