Early Diabetes Vaccine Research Gives Hope

Early Diabetes Vaccine Research Gives Hope

Source : Shuttlecock

In small, early studies, a vaccine for type 1 diabetes appears to give promising results. At least, in some newly diagnosed patients, the vaccine helps maintain the body’s natural insulin production.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This hormone is needed by cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Because they cannot produce natural insulin, type 1 diabetes patients require lifelong insulin injections.

The vaccine was developed with the hope of curing patients with type 1 diabetes. In the current study, researchers wanted to test whether the vaccine could stop or slow down the destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin.

Even though it’s a little, it’s very meaningful

“Research has shown that although insulin production is very small, it is very beneficial for the patient’s health,” said Dr. Johnny Ludvigsson, a senior professor in the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at Link√∂ping University in Sweden Ludvigsson and his team developed a vaccine made from glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). In people with type 1 diabetes, this protein is attached to the surface of beta cells so that the immune system will fight and form antibodies. Antibodies will destroy the pancreas so it does not produce insulin. The researchers wanted to see that giving a vaccine that exposed the body to more GAD would help the immune system better tolerate this protein and stop attacking insulin-producing cells.

The study has entered a phase 2 clinical study, in which researchers recruited 109 type 1 diabetes patients aged between 12 and 24 years. The researchers analyzed how much natural insulin the patients’ bodies produced after 15 months. They also analyzed changes in long-term blood sugar levels and how many insulin shots they needed each day.

As a result, there was insulin production in about half of the patients with type 1 diabetes who were given the vaccine. The study has been published in the journal Diabetes Care .

Management of Type 1 Diabetes

Because it is an autoimmune category, unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. After the patient was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he had to undergo insulin therapy for  rest of his life. Type 1 diabetes is  caused by the pancreas not being able to produce enough insulin so the only therapy is insulin.

Until now there is no insulin replacement therapy. The development of therapy to renew pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin again is still limited to research and there is still a long way to go until it is realized. The diabetes vaccine is one such effort.

To maintain the quality of life of patients with type 1 diabetes, there are 5 principles for managing type 1 diabetes, namely the right diet, insulin therapy, maintaining physical activity, checking blood sugar regularly, and education.

All of which will affect blood sugar control to a normal range, in order to avoid dangerous complications. Blood sugar checks are carried out every day , even 6 to 7 times per day, namely before and after meals and at bedtime or in the morning. The goal is to prevent hypoglycemia which is the most common complication found in insulin users.

Source :

MAULANA, Muhammad Sobri. Efektivitas Kurma (Phoenix dactylifera) dalam menurunkan kadar HbA1c pada pasien diabetes mellitus tipe 2: Laporan Kasus Berbasis Bukti. Journal of Pharmaceutical Care Anwar Medika (J-PhAM), [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 31-45, dec. 2020. ISSN 2684-7361. Available at: <http://jurnal.stikesrsanwarmedika.ac.id/index.php/jpcam/article/view/47>. Date accessed: 06 june 2021. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.36932/jpcam.v3i1.47.

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