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Science, hope for adults with type 1 diabetes focus of JDRF's Annual Global Diabetes Research Forum
Date:6/18/2008

Washington, DC, June 2008 -- Research findings and innovative approaches offer the promise of new therapies and the potential for cures for adults living with type 1 diabetes, according to researchers at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's (JDRF's) Global Research Forum in Washington D.C.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. It renders people insulin-dependent for life and carries the constant threat of debilitating and life-threatening complications. Half of those diagnosed each year with type 1 diabetes are adults. Overall, adults with diabetes may have lived with the disease for more than 90% of their lives.

Still Capable of Producing Insulin

Among the research presented at the JDRF conference were insights of the Medalist Study from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. George King, MD, Senior Vice President, Director of Research at the Joslin Center and director of the study, said that individuals with established type 1 diabetes (even those who have lived with it for 50 years or more) are still capable of producing insulin. The Joslin Study also found that even after 50 years about 30% of the patients studied didn't experience common complications such as eye, kidney or nerve disease. These findings have potential implications for improved treatment for all type 1 diabetes sufferers.

Potential for Islet Cell Regeneration

Mark Atkinson, M.D., Director of The Diabetes Center of Excellence at the University of Florida, presented initial findings from nPOD; the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes. Organized and funded by JDRF, the network was established last August to procure and characterize, in a collaborative manner, pancreatic and related tissues from organ donors with long-standing type 1 diabetes as well as those who are islet autoantibody positive. These tissues would be use
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Contact: Jillian Lubarsky
jlubarsky@jdrf.org
212-479-7626
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Source:Eurekalert

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