Biomedical

The newest treatments for diabetes.

There are two types, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is produced by pancreatic beta-cells and those get destroyed in type 2 diabetes. It is influence by genetics. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by reduced pancreatic function leading to increased insulin, making cells insulin resistant over time. Obesity is a significant risk factors accounting for ~85% of the risk. In the UK ~⅔ obese adults are also diabetic.

Especially for type 2 diabetes, drugs have been fairly successful but there haven’t been any new drugs in a long time to outperform already existent antidiabetic drugs line Metformin and sulfonylureas that still are considered the first option when treating type 2 diabetes. Some issues for developing new drugs are side effects (as always) making drug development really slow. Combined with the new evidence that Metformin performs very well it is hard to change things using drugs.

As mentioned in a previous article on Qul Mind, nanoparticles show promising results in treating diabetic symptoms, but they may be toxic especially for heart muscle. A new study shows new nanoparticles that avoid this problem and appear to be safer and more effective.

Islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes is also promising, especially if we can make IPSC (induced pluripotent stem cells) and transform them into pancreatic beta-cells. If we transplant pancreatic beta-cells from other animals though, there are new methods for encapsulating cells in hydrogel microcapsules before injecting them to avoid the need for immunosuppression.

Another promising technology is an artificial pancreas. A device with an implanted sensor that wirelessly transmits information for insulin and glucose levels and accordingly an external pump feeds into the bloodstream insulin and/or glucagon as needed. New studies show ways that those technologies can be altered to be less invasive.

The problem with diabetes is control. Without a functional pancreas to regulate insulin it is hard to monitor glucose all the time, especially during sleep and it is hard to always take the right amount of glucose and insulin to maintain a balance. New drugs and technologies can help with those issues and it is impressive how much research is being done on this. More and more people are suffering from the consequences of obesity and diabetes and studies say that those numbers may increase. So it is logical why there is so much research in this field. From the current studies i think the artificial pancreas may be one of the best budget-friendly long term solution. And if it is an advanced one , being able to balance two or maybe more hormones and even drugs that may be all we need.

Sources:

How metformin repositioned itself as first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes
Preparation, characterization and in vivo evaluation of pH sensitive, safe quercetin-succinylated chitosan-alginate core-shell-corona nanoparticle for diabetes treatment

A comparative safety review between GLP-1 receptor agonists and SGLT2 inhibitors for diabetes treatment

Designing a retrievable and scalable cell encapsulation device for potential treatment of type 1 diabetes

Dual‐hormone artificial pancreas: benefits and limitations compared with single‐hormone systems

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