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Cell study offers more diabetic patients chance of transplant
Date:8/29/2013

ially fatal seizures as patients have no warning signals that their blood sugar has reached dangerously low levels.

Almost 20 per cent of patients with Type 1 diabetes suffer from hypoglycemic unawareness.

John Casey, of the University of Edinburgh and also lead clinician for the National Islet Transplant Programme in Scotland, said: "There is a shortage of organ donors, which is not helped by the need for two pancreases to be donated to treat each patient. Developing previously unusable cells to produce insulin means that fewer donors would be needed, which would make a huge difference to patients waiting for transplants operations."

The research was funded by the Medical Research Council.

Professor Kevin Docherty, of the University of Aberdeen, said: "This is an example of how reprogramming, -- the ability to change one cell type into another -- can have a huge impact on the development of cell based therapy for diabetes and many other diseases."

An islet cell transplant programme was introduced in the UK in 2008. Since then, over 90 islet transplants have been successfully carried out in the UK with some patients now completely free of insulin injections.


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Contact: Tara Womersley
tara.womersley@ed.ac.uk
44-131-650-9836
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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