Saturday, January 12, 2008

Diabetes & Inflammation

I remember being stunned and frustrated when I was diagnosed that not even the medical establishment knew what it was that really caused or triggered type 1 diabetes. I was irritated that nobody could tell me why I'd been sick for nearly a year before finally going under, and why I couldn't get an explanation that made any sense.

Well, you can't get a good explanation - or a good cure - until people figure out what the hell's going on. Which they're still doing.

In a discovery that has stunned even those behind it, scientists at a Toronto hospital say they have proof the body's nervous system helps trigger diabetes, opening the door to a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians.

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.....

Dr. Dosch had concluded in a 1999 paper that there were surprising similarities between diabetes and multiple sclerosis, a central nervous system disease. His interest was also piqued by the presence around the insulin-producing islets of an "enormous" number of nerves, pain neurons primarily used to signal the brain that tissue has been damaged.

Suspecting a link between the nerves and diabetes, he and Dr. Salter used an old experimental trick -- injecting capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers, to kill the pancreatic sensory nerves in mice that had an equivalent of Type 1 diabetes.

1 comments so far. Got something to say?

Travis said...

Thats pretty freaking sweet how they figured that one out... I wonder what else they might be able to do by taking a fresh new look (from this angle) at other diseases.