Diabetes affects almost 26 million Americans. It is a disease that anyone can get. They can be any age, any race, any gender. Research is bringing us closer and closer to a cure for diabetes with new advances in medicine. There is potential for a cure both with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They are also looking at new methods of prevention.
Testing is underway at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School. Previous research used the islet cells in the pancreas and transplanted them so that the body would make the right amount of insulin to deal with the sugar that people were taking in. However the immune system was not a fan of these islet cells and would end up destroying them. Research is being done now to find a way to stop the immune system from attacking the islet cells. They are trying to understand why the attacks happen so that they can stop the problem before it starts.
There is also ongoing research that is trying to find a way to reproduce the islet cells that you already have in your body so that the immune system will not attack them. These regenerated cells would come from stem cells. Some patients with Type 1 diabetes have been found to still have a small number of functional islets cells that produce a small amount of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes has research being done on it as well. They are trying to find the exact cause of Type 2 and have narrowed it down to the possibility that it is caused by inflammation. The researchers are testing a theory that anti-inflammatory drugs may help people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes. It is tough for the researchers to really pin anything down at this point because diabetes affects so many different systems in the body. They are working on a drug that will prevent vision loss from diabetes and also possibly prevent your kidneys from failing.