Diabetes 2

When people suffer from type 1 diabetes (“juvenile diabetes”), the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin – the substance you need to process sugar properly. Without these cells, the patient needs insulin from the chemist’s. American and Italian diabetes researchers have written, in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, about a study that examined the pancreases of 45 deceased diabetics; Leiden professor Bart Roep was one of the researchers.
In general, this type of research is conducted on people who have recently developed the disorder, but the donors of this study included patients who had had diabetes for more than thirty years.
Their most important conclusion was that there were great differences between the patients: far more insulin-producing cells had been destroyed in some patients than in others. It was only discovered as recently as 2010 that some of these cells survive at all. They also discovered that the presence of “wrong” immune system cells varied from patient to patient. In fact, it was the first time that these cells had been established in the pancreas instead of in the blood.

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