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So my non-D tech-y brother just sent me a link to this article regarding T1 dogs that have been cured for 4+ years from hypo and hyperglycemia. What do you think?
If you don't want to click the link, here's the majority of the article:
Researchers from Barcelona have developed a new gene therapy that significantly improved the blood glucose levels of dogs with type 1 diabetes -- and could potentially be a cure.
The team was made up of researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and was led by Fàtima Bosch.
The new gene therapy consists of a single session of multiple injections. These injections presented adeno-associated vectors (AAV) that both expressed the insulin gene, and also glucokinase (an enzyme that regulates an uptake of glucose from the blood). When both genes were expressed, the excess of blood sugar in type 1 diabetic dogs was controlled over a long-term period.
The adeno-associated vectors were derived from non-pathogenic viruses, and simply transferred the two genes to the muscle of the dogs once injected.
This gene therapy was tested on dogs, who received a single administration of the gene therapy. Results showed that the dogs' blood glucose levels were controlled all the time, whether they were eating or fasting. The dogs didn't have any episodes of hypoglycemia, either, which is when blood glucose levels drop too low.
The dogs in the study maintained normal blood glucose levels for more than four years after the injections without requiring any more sessions, and still show no signs of the disease returning. They didn't experience any secondary complications associated with type 1 diabetes in that time period, either.
Since AAV vectors have been previously introduced into skeletal muscle treatments, getting this gene therapy into a clinical setting shouldn't be too difficult. Once this has been accomplished for type 1 diabetic companion animals, it should move on to humans.
I've been barking a lot recently.
Barcelona and I are good friends.
I have Type 1.
Will they take me for a Spanish dog?
Gene therapy isn't approved in most countries, especially the US. On a side note, I was under the impression that dogs weren't similar to humans in that their DNA strands are not nearly as complex. Also, if this were proven in humans, that would mean that type 1 would be definitely confirmed as a genetic defect. Scientists are still unsure if it's caused by genetic or environmental issues, I thought. So, I'm undecided on this research (I saw the article a few days ago), but I'm leaning toward them doing this for publicity purposes.
Usually big mammals tests are more faithfull than mouse tests.
I have many doubts about the auto-immune response: I think these dogs were caused to be diabetic by surgery. Anyway this is a good outcome, something to look after.