Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Type 1 Diabetes Reversed With Stem Cells From Cord Blood

Type 1 Diabetes Reversed With Stem Cells From Cord Blood

This study has me really excited.  It is a study involving the re-education of immune cells by introducing cord blood stem cells to a sample of the patient's blood.  This is done outside of the patient's body and the "smart" blood is returned.  The goal is for the immune system to stop attacking the beta cells and for the patient to begin making some insulin.

The study compared patients who make no insulin, patients who were still making some insulin and a third placebo group that did not receive the cord blood stem cells.

The results were that the patients who received the treatment had a decrease in A1c and insulin requirements and an increased C-peptide. Thats both groups, the patients with some or no beta cell function to begin and those with some beta cell function.

The placebo group showed no change in any of these measurements.

This is really nice.  The C-peptide is the exciting part.  Insulin and A1c can be manipulated with more aggressive diet and exercise, but not the C-peptide.  That shows an intrinsic change.  It shows that this works.

Its also interesting to me because the group with no beta cell function was brought to about the same C-peptide value that I currently have which is about 0.5.  This is much lower than I was at about a year post transplant.  I was usually over 1.0.  But, physically it is a giant step away from 0 C-peptide which is where I was pre-transplant.  I still feel just as good, I just have to take a few shots.  I must be healthier.

I'll be following this study closely.  They are hoping to start clinical trials on this soon in Japan.

As for me, I had good news at my endo appt. last week.  My A1c is down to 5.8.  This is fantastic.  My previous one was 6.5.  I was hoping to just be lower than that, so this is a pleasant surprise.  As I mentioned above, its probably due to my very aggressive diet, exercise and insulin use, but thats ok.  High BGs are toxic to my precious islets, so I try to avoid them.  I'm really hoping to stay where I am for as long as I can.  Or until the next best thing comes along like this study.

We just got back from a trip to California for a belated White Christmas.  We had a great time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Diabetes and Microbiology and dogs

After getting all excited about combining diabetes and dogs, now I see that diabetes has found a connection with microbiology.  This article came out today in  A group of students at the University of Missouri found that they could measure blood sugar using bacteria that have an ability to glow in the presence of glucose.  They found that the amount of glucose was in direct proportion to the amount of glow created by the bacteria.  They are hoping that this might be used in test strips in the future.  Bacteria are already used for their ability to create drugs and other useful chemicals.  They are cheap, numerous and there is no moral issues with their use (that I am aware of). I'll be following this research.

In other news, Senator, the dog I was fostering for the Assistance Dogs of America, Inc.  was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  So, I am going to try to train him to become a Diabetes Alert Dog.  I really like the idea of giving him this second chance.  It makes us two of a kind.

I'm in the process of creating another blog to keep track of his training.