Derailing Diabetes

A cure for diabetes? So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Type one diabetes is a debilitating illness caused by a malfunction in the body’s defense system. The body attacks its own insulin-producing cells; these control blood sugar, our main energy source. Type one diabetics rely on lifelong insulin injections to survive this. But can diabetes be stopped in its tracks?

Enter Michaela Waibel from St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and team.

For forty-eight weeks, they gave sixty recently-diagnosed diabetics the arthritis medication baricitinib to calm their defense systems. Insulin production was measured by blood every twelve weeks.

Results? Those given baricitinib had FORTY-EIGHT percent more insulin production compared to those without treatment! Generally, those patients also had to inject less insulin. No serious side effects were seen!

This is the first pill EVER shown to slow further progression of type one diabetes.

See “pills are good!”… Hmm. Dumb and Dumber has a certain wisdom.

Reference: Bennett, D. F., Goyala, A., Statzer, C., Beckett, C. W., Tyshkovskiy, A., Gladyshev, V. N., Ewald, C. Y., & de Magalhães, J. P. (2023). Rilmenidine extends lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans via a nischarin I1-imidazoline receptor. Aging cell, 22(2), e13774.