STATES CHRONICLE – According to recent news, a group of scientists made a great discovery in Type 1 Diabetes. It was estimated that Type 1 diabetes is very common in young people and children. Some of the common symptoms of diabetes are overweight, high blood pressure and high triglycerides levels.
Diabetes is treated with the help of insulin in addition to other drugs. Severe problems such as blindness, kidney failure, coronary heart disease and strokes may result due to lack of proper treatment.
Researchers said they studied T cells in Type 1 diabetes and now they think they found one possible cause for the disease. T cells play an important role in the immune system. Their aim is to kill foreign cells in the body and fight off disease.
In Type 1 diabetics, T cells destroy the cells which produce insulin, called beta cells. Without these cells, the body cannot properly process sugars. In their study, researchers attempted to find why the immune system attacks healthy, beneficial cells.
Thomas Delong with the University of Colorado School of Medicine has been working for 10 years in his lab tracking T cells reactions. Now he believes he found an answer. His results showed a new type of protein modifier. The newly found protein is thought to be a mixture of insulin and another substance.
It activates the T cells which makes them attack the insulin producing cells. Delong explained that:
“Because the immune system sees that and thinks it might be foreign because it’s never seen that before, it attacks the junction of these proteins”.
When he was 12, Delong himself was diagnosed with diabetes. This way, he was always compelled to find reasons why his immune system worked against his body. Finally, he has hope of creating a method which can prevent the attack from T cells. His team is trying to find a way to prevent T cells from activating in the case of Type 1 diabetes. The discovery of new protein modification could inform future research in the area of autoimmune diseases.
For diabetics, life is a continuous struggle to keep balance: keeping track of the carbohydrate intake, always monitoring blood-sugar levels, and injecting insulin. Such a great discovery in Type 1 diabetes might open new paths both for doctors and patients.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia