17 December 2006

Diabetes-1 is not auto-immune

These Canadian scientists have discovered that they can hold off Diabetes-1 in mice for four months using a single injection, and have good expectations for the same mechanism being effective for humans.

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.
[ . . . ]
Their conclusions upset conventional wisdom that Type 1 diabetes, the most serious form of the illness that typically first appears in childhood, was solely caused by auto-immune responses — the body’s immune system turning on itself.
They also conclude that there are far more similarities than previously thought between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and that nerves likely play a role in other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as asthma and Crohn’s disease.

This spells a medical revolution, not the least of which is a new, serious approach to athsma and diabetes.

It turns out that capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chilli peppers, is the beaut compound which blows out the pain-generating nerves which were suppressing insulin generation through wiping out neuropeptides necessary to the function of the insulin islets in the pancreas. Injecting (into the correct sites) either the capsaicin or the neuropeptides brought about a cure in mice.

Humans are still a couple of years from being included in the medical loop.

Immunologists called foul on the nervous system intruding on their own domain, & grilled the scientists about it before producing their own (positive) report (in Cell Press), so this has a bit more support going for it than a bunch of isolated opinions.

Now I have an official excuse for eating red-hot chilli. Mmmmm.

(-: I presume Janet/Lucy will have noticed this :-)

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