[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
[Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

[IP] Research on Diabetic Complications

DETROIT (AP) - A hormone scientists once thought was   
``garbage'' is now believed to reduce some of the worst 
complications from Type 1 diabetes, researchers said. 

The research focuses on C-peptide, a molecular cousin of 
insulin, which regulates the body's sugar levels. 

Researchers still aren't sure exactly what function 
C-peptide plays in the body. But scientists gathered 
for an international diabetes symposium in Michigan last 
weekend were excited about preliminary studies that show 
injections of C-peptide along with insulin reduced 
serious diabetic complications such as kidney damage. 

"We thought it was garbage,'' said Dr. Anders Sima, a 
researcher at the Wayne State University School 
of Medicine.  Instead, he said, C-peptide and insulin 
may be like the oil and gas that cars need to run 
properly. Insulin helps the body to balance metabolism; 
C-peptide helps the body last a lifetime. Sima and
others summarized the findings at the Third Annual 
International Motor City Diabetes Symposium. 

A large international study is expected to begin next 
year, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday. If early 
research is reproduced, C-peptide could easily be 
administered because it already is manufactured as a 
byproduct of insulin. It would be added to the insulin 
injections Type 1 diabetics now take. 

Even with strict diets, daily insulin and close 
monitoring of blood-sugar levels, four of 10 diabetics 
develop serious problems, including kidney failure, 
heart and peripheral nerve problems and deteriorating 
vision and eventual blindness. In the United States,
about 17,000 die each year of such complications. 

Sima said early research also shows that C-peptide 
delays the onset of complications. It also may be 
helpful in some cases of Type 2 diabetes which also are 
insulin deficient. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune 
problem in which beta cells in the pancreas are killed. 
Beta cells make insulin and C-peptide, which are 
depleted in people with Type 1 diabetes. 

C-peptide was discovered in 1967, but scientists lost 
interest when they could not show that it helped with 
metabolism the way insulin does, said Dr. George 
Grunberger, professor and director of Wayne State's 
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. 

A handful of researchers, however, continued the work. 
The payoff came in the past few years. Dr. John Wahren, 
of Sweden's Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, found 
that daily injections of C-peptide limited kidney, 
bowel, sexual and circulatory complications in Type 1 
diabetics. Sima demonstrated the same benefits in 
diabetic rats. 

Scientists now theorize that a lack of C-peptide may be 
the key to progression of the disease. 

``We've found there very well may be use for what was 
called shavings from the carpenter's bench,'' Wahren 

Soon, Wahren will begin studies of C-peptide therapy at 
three Swedish sites. He and Sima also have 
held preliminary talks with European and U.S. drug 
officials about the scope of larger studies, which they 
hope will be under way by spring. 

Further work to design the study will be done at a 
meeting in Sweden planned for December, Sima said. 

PSN Webmail -- http://start.psn.net
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
send a DONATION http://www.Insulin-Pumpers.org/donate.shtml