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June 7, 2006, 11:56 PM CT

Thanks To Long-lived Fruit Fly

Thanks To Long-lived Fruit Fly
The creation of an extraordinarily long-lived fruit fly by genetics scientists at the University of Rochester has led researchers down an unexpected new path in the fight against diabetes. The mutant fly is serving as a portal for understanding the factors that determine how nutrition and stress set the foundation for metabolic syndrome and diabetes, why diabetes occurs more frequently as people age, and indeed why people live as long as they do.

Dirk Bohmann, Ph.D., and Henri Jasper, Ph.D., are focusing on a cell signaling system that responds to stress and works in tandem with the insulin receptor that is central to diabetes. They recently received $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to conduct the next phase of their studies.

Why spend such funds on a fly that lives 40 percent longer than the average fly? Because of its promise for human health. New findings on aging, diabetes, and stress converge on the fly the team created. Later this month Bohmann will discuss the fly's implications for aging and health at a symposium in Sweden sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundations and also at the exclusive International Workshop on the Molecular and Developmental Biology of Drosophila, sponsored by the European Molecular Biology Organization, in Crete.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 7, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

New Approach To Treating Diabetes

New Approach To Treating Diabetes
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have uncovered a surprising and novel way of lowering blood sugar levels in mice by manipulating the release of sugar by liver cells. The results, reported in the recent issue of Cell Metabolism, have implications for treating conditions like diabetes.

The discovery by scientists in Hopkins' Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences and McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine reveals that a protein called GCN5 is critical for controlling a domino-like cascade of molecular events that lead to the release of sugar from liver cells into the bloodstream. Understanding the role of GCN5 in maintaining blood sugar levels is leading to a clearer picture of how the body uses sugar and other nutrients to make, store and spend energy.

"Understanding the ways that energy production and use are controlled is crucial to developing new drugs and therapies," says the report's senior author, Pere Puigserver, Ph.D., an assistant professor of cell biology at Hopkins.

The inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels leads to conditions like obesity and diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause blood sugar levels to stay too high, which can lead to complications like blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.

"Diabetes is a really big problem, even when patients are given insulin and stay on strict diets," says Carles Lerin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in cell biology at Hopkins and an author of the report. "In the absence of a cure for the disease, we are really trying to focus on finding better therapy because currently available methods just don't work that efficiently," he says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 2, 2006, 7:01 AM CT

Adverse Reactions to Popular Type 2 Diabetes Drugs

Adverse Reactions to Popular Type 2 Diabetes Drugs
Used by several million people worldwide, rosiglitazone (RSG) is an oral agent that helps patients with type 2 diabetes maintain good blood glucose levels by improving how their bodies use insulin.

But RSG, like all the other thiazolidinedione (TZD) drugs that can lower blood glucose levels, can cause fluid retention (edema), a condition that puts patients at greater risk for weight gain, vascular complications and heart failure. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures the drugs, reported cases of new onset or worsening macular edema (an eye disorder that leads to blurred or distorted vision) among patients who took RSG. While reports of these complications remain rare, GlaxoSmithKline has added a warning about the risks to the drugs' labels.

Now a new study at Joslin Diabetes Center has uncovered a mechanism that leads to these complications and suggests a way to prevent them. The study was led by George L. King, M.D., the Director of Research and Head of Vascular Cell Biology at Joslin and Professor at Harvard Medical School. It will appear in the June edition of the FASEB Journal, a publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Treating rats with RSG over several weeks and comparing their tissues with those of rats in the control group, the scientists documented increases in blood vessel leakage and fluid retention in fat tissue and the retina. They also showed that the rats experienced weight gain similar to that observed in patients. What gave them the clue to the cause of these changes came when they examined the activity levels of one form of the protein kinase C (PKC) enzyme in the affected tissues.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 2, 2006, 6:53 AM CT

Repeat Episodes Of Low Blood Sugar Spell Disaster

Repeat Episodes Of Low Blood Sugar Spell Disaster
Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) may occur when a person with diabetes has injected too much insulin, eaten too little food, or exercised without extra food. They may experience nausea, sweating, faintness, and confusion. In reaction to these symptoms the person is prompted to eat, and the body instinctively knows to take counterregulatory measures including decreasing insulin secretion, and increasing glucagon and epinephrine secretion. Single or repeated episodes of hypoglycemia can impair the body's ability to detect low blood sugar in the future. This impairment can allow an individual to develop severe hypoglycemia in which they may lose consciousness, experience convulsions, fall into a coma, and suffer brain damage. This failure to respond to hypoglycemia has become a major limitation to effective insulin treatment in type 1 diabetes.

In a study appearing in the recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Rory J. McCrimmon and his colleagues from Yale University, show that administration to the brain of urocortin I suppresses the counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia for at least 24 hours in rats. They show that urocortin I, which activates corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor 2 (CRFR2), impairs the sensitivity of glucose-sensing neurons in the brain. In contrast, administration of CRF, which activates CRFR1, amplifies the response to hypoglycemia. The data suggest that the regulation of the counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia is largely determined by the interaction between CRFR2-mediated suppression and CRFR1-mediated activation in the hypothalamus.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 1, 2006, 7:05 PM CT

Landmark Study On Diabetic Foot Infection

Landmark Study On Diabetic Foot Infection
Persons with diabetes who develop an infection are at a 55-fold greater risk for hospitalization, and an alarming 154-fold greater risk for amputation. These are some of the startling figures emanating from the first population-based study on diabetic foot infection. Scientists from Texas A&M University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and the University of Washington collected data on nearly 1,700 patients over a two-year period.

"The results strongly suggested that foot infections are common and complex. They are also costly in terms of morbidity," noted Dr. Lawrence A. Lavery of Texas A&M, the lead author on the study.

The study also found that nearly 9 in 10 amputations performed are instigated by an infection. "This waccording tohaps the most interesting figure in the study," noted David G. Armstrong, DPM, PhD, Professor of Surgery and Director of Scholl's Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research at Rosalind Franklin University and one of the study's principal investigators.

"It is infection that is the spark that led to nearly all amputations in this study," said Armstrong. "Poor circulation, while critically important, did not necessarily cause amputation. It determined the level of amputation. This subtlety makes a significant difference when designing strategies for prevention."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 1, 2006, 6:12 PM CT

Chewing Gum To Treat Diabetes

Chewing Gum To Treat Diabetes
Generex Biotechnology Corp. (Nasdaq:GNBT), a Toronto company that develops diabetes therapy sprays, has struck a deal with Fertin Pharma A/S to develop a medicinal chewing gum to treat Type-2 diabetes and obesity.

Generex said Wednesday the two companies will develop a gum that contains metformin, a widely used drug to control blood sugar levels in Type-2 diabetics, who don't inject themselves with insulin to control the disease.

Under the deal, Generex will carry out a clinical study to establish the effectiveness of the metformin gum before the company seeks regulatory approvals for the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of the product.

"We are pleased to have established this collaborative relationship with Fertin Pharma, the industry leader in medicinal gum," said Anna Gluskin, Generex's president and chief executive.

"Together, we will continue the Generex mission of improving diabetes care and the quality of life of people with diabetes."

Metformin is a generic drug used to regulate blood sugar levels by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver, reducing the amount of glucose absorbed from food in the stomach and by making the insulin produced by the body work more effectively to reduce the amount of glucose already in the blood.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 1, 2006, 6:07 PM CT

How About Painless Finger-pricking

How About Painless Finger-pricking
Anyone who has undergone glucose testing by fingerstick method knows how painful it is! A diabetic patient has to go through these daily rituals through his or her life span. Scientists all over the world are trying to find methods by which this pain can be reduced. Over a period of 20 years a person might have to pin-prick themselves 60,000 times.

Until now, no company has addressed the pain problem. Current mechanical devices often lance skin deeper than necessary, aggravating nerve endings, leaving a pool of blood that can become infected.

Now, the world's first and only digital lancing device, launched in Australia by Diabetes Australia-NSW, detects the exact depth needed to extract the minimum amount of blood needed, without hitting nerves.

Made by DiaCare International Pty Ltd, the device, called the The Pelikan Sun, uses advanced technology to increase the comfort and precision of blood glucose testing. It can accurately measure the sensitive skin depth of a baby - or the calloused finger of an adult.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 30, 2006, 10:49 PM CT

Breakthrough For Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment

Breakthrough For Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment Professor David Tomlinson
A potentially ground-breaking therapy for nerve damage caused by diabetes has shown promising results in preclinical and early patient trials.

The University of Manchester team has discovered that injection of a novel therapeutic that works by stimulating a person's genes may prevent nerve damage - primarily to the hands and feet - caused by the disease.

The positive preclinical results - published in the journal Diabetes - are further evidence that the research could lead to a new therapy for diabetic nerve damage or 'neuropathy'; initial-stage clinical trials on patients in the United States have also been encouraging.

Lead researcher Professor David Tomlinson says the study has massive potential for managing the condition and preventing thousands of foot amputations each year.

"The vast majority of non-traumatic hand and foot amputations carried out in UK hospitals are caused by diabetes and there are currently no therapys available to prevent or slow the progress of nerve disease in diabetic patients," he said.

"Our tests have shown that a single injection of a DNA-binding protein protected nerve function, stimulated nerve growth and prevented tissue damage that in humans can lead to limb loss."

An estimated 50 per cent of patients with long-term diabetes develop some form of neuropathy that can cause numbness and sometimes pain and weakness in the hands, arms, feet and legs. Progression to amputation is not inevitable, but it is always a threat.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 29, 2006, 9:16 PM CT

Potential Treatments For Type 2 Diabetes

Potential Treatments For Type 2 Diabetes
Scientists funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) have identified an unsuspected role of a protein named SHP-1 that could constitute a new therapeutic path against Type 2 Diabetes.

Under the direction of professor Andre Marette (Laval University), Nicole Beauchemin (McGill University), Martin Oliver (McGill University Health Centre) and Katherine Siminovitch (University of Toronto) were part of a Canadian and American team which published an article in the recent issue of Nature Medicine that explains the role of SHP-1 in the control of blood glucose.

The scientists already knew that SHP-1 played a role in regulating the immune system. However, no one had previously taken the time to verify if this protein was involved in the regulation of metabolism. This is precisely what this team of Canadian and American scientists did, thanks to a series of mutant or genetically modified mice producing little or no SHP-1.

"Our results indicate that these mice are extremely sensitive to insulin and, consequently, they are very effective in metabolising glucose at the level of the liver and the muscles," notes Andre Marette. In addition, the scientists highlighted that SHP-1 inhibits the decomposition of insulin by the liver. "This could explain the increase in the insulin concentrations of certain metabolic disorders associated with obesity," indicates the researcher.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 17, 2006, 11:30 PM CT

Hepatitis C Virus Infection Increases Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Hepatitis C Virus Infection Increases Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who are 40 years of age or older have three times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with their uninfected counterparts, as per a report in the recent issue of Diabetes Care.

"HCV is a diabetogenic agent that by means of increasing insulin resistance strongly predisposes infected patients to type 2 diabetes," Dr. Rafael Simo from Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain told Reuters Health. Dr. Simo and his colleagues reviewed the available evidence concerning the epidemiological association between HCV infection and diabetes.

In all studies that contained a control group, there was a higher prevalence of HCV antibodies among patients with type 2 diabetes than among nondiabetic patients, the authors report. This was not the case for patients with type 1 diabetes.

Similarly, data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) confirmed a three-fold increased risk of type 2 diabetes in patients who were at least 40 years old and infected with HCV. Again, the results indicate, there was no association between HCV infection and type 1 diabetes.

In other studies, HCV-positive patients with chronic hepatitis were three times as likely to have glucose abnormalities, compared with HCV-negative subjects with other liver diseases. Diabetes and impaired fasting glucose were also more common among patients with anti-HCV antibodies.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink



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Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90% of cases diabetes. This disease affects nearly 17 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Even though 17 million Americans have type-2 diabetes only half of these people are aware that they have diabetes. The death rate in patients with diabetes may be up to 11 times higher than in persons without the disease. The occurrence of diabetes in persons 45 to 64 years of age is 7 percent, but the proportion increases significantly in persons 65 years of age or older. Type-2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes worldwide.

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