Diabetes is a polygenic and complex medical condition that we are all familiar with. Every year, the number of people suffering is rising at an increasingly fast pace. However, the progress of research and studies focused on the understanding of this complex disease has been extremely slow.
Insulin injections are still widely used for treatment of diabetes. Other drugs that are used either stimulate the production of more insulin in the pancreas, increase sensitivity to insulin, slow down the absorption of starch, or reduce the glucose production in the liver. Newer drugs like GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) are more promising and stimulate the secretion of insulin, suppression of the glucagon hormone, or reduction in food intake.
Meanwhile, researchers have used stem cells to treat diabetes in mice and have made a breakthrough by completely reversing the condition. This could mean that these stem cell treatments can successfully be a viable treatment for reversing diabetes by restoring production of insulin. What they have accomplished was recreating a feedback loop that allows the automatic adjustments of insulin levels, according to the glucose levels in the blood.
Another research has helped in discovering a hormone which has the potential to make vast improvements in the treatment of diabetes Type 2. The hormone, betatrophin, will help accelerate the pancreas’ insulin production in mice up to 30 times faster than normal. Since the hormone will produce insulin only when there is a need, it can naturally regulate insulin and reduce complications associated with the condition.
However, experts say that there are complex mechanisms to unravel for understanding diabetes. So, the research will remain slow, although it will yield successful results.