A 100-Year-Old Vaccine Could Treat Type 1 Diabetes

A 100-Year-Old Vaccine Could Treat Type 1 Diabetes
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Childhood represents the main period of a person’s life when he or she can suffer from type 1 Diabetes, unfortunately. The disease is very tricky, also because its symptoms can appear suddenly.

During new research led by Dr. Denise Faustman, who’s director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory, scientists are trying to find out if a century-old vaccine used for tuberculosis can also prove itself useful against type 1 diabetes in children, according to BostonGlobe.com.

Testing begins for trying to lower blood sugar levels

The goal is to find out if the vaccine in question, known as bacillus Calmette Guérin, or BCG, is able to lower blood sugar levels in the little ones who suffer from Type 1 diabetes. The research is currently in its early stages, meaning that we have plenty of more time to wait until we can get some clear results.

Scientists are clinging to the results of other studies that have shown a link between the BCG vaccine and lower rates of mortality during childhood, as well as stronger immunity against some infectious diseases. Furthermore, one small phase 1 clinical study published a decade ago showed that the BCG vaccine prompted higher levels of insulin production compared to individuals treated with a placebo.

The researchers led by Dr. Faustman now team up with NYU Langone Health to test 150 teenagers to see if the vaccine is indeed useful. The individuals need to have gotten Type 1 diabetes for at least two years.

Dr. Faustman declared as BostonGlobe.com quotes:

When we go into older people, they have no pancreas reserve,

So we’re only testing in them what does BCG do to become a better regulator of glucose metabolism. Now, when we go into kids, it tests the ability of BCG to possibly preserve the pancreas as well as change these sugar defects.

It’s an exciting population to study. You get to see if you stop the immune response, can the pancreas recover or become more stable as well as getting white blood cells to behave.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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