In Ireland it is estimated that 30, 000 people suffer with Type 1 Diabetes. A recently released study from America claims that stem cell research conducted on a 30 year old man with Type 1 Diabetes is looking optimistic in finding a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes. I am very sceptical of any media driven articles on diabetes research that touts possible cures or reversals of diabetes, because when you look further into an article, the study is usually conducted on rats/mice, and is a long way off of being trialed on humans, but this particular study in America has grabbed my attention.
Type 1 Diabetes is a life long condition which occurs when the pancreas does not make insulin because of a failure of beta cells, and a person with Type 1 Diabetes has to take insulin injections for life. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in childhood, although there is a growing number of people who are also developing it in adulthood.etc.
Researchers at Optimum Clinical Research, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA have completed a study to determine whether stem cells could reverse the effects of Type 1 Diabetes. The study was conducted over the last three years, and entry requirements were so rigid that only one person in Utah, a Colorado father of two, Christopher Herod, qualified for the study.
Researchers are calling the study a ‘breakthrough’ and ‘a new frontier in medicine’ in finding a possible cure for Type 1 Diabetes, as they wait to see whether the stem cells, which were derived from bone marrow as opposed to embryonic stem cells will reverse Herod’s diabetes. The stem cells injected into Herod will need to become insulin producing beta cells for this to happen, so the study is still ongoing, therefore long term results have not yet been recorded.
Already Herod, who works as a coal miner, is beginning to see better results in his diabetes, so both he and the researchers are positive for the future. The stem cell study involved 30 people across America and there is also some evidence to suggest that people with Type 2 diabetes can also benefit from similar treatment.
I welcome these types of studies because when involving human participants, the findings you receive are alot more transparent and realistic for those living with Type 1 Diabetes on the ground. I shall follow this study with interest and heres hoping the future looks bright for both Christopher and all those people around the world living with diabetes.