Predicting Who Will Get Type One Diabetes

It’s the second most common chronic condition in childhood. Type one diabetes affects almost two million individuals, typically attacking children and young adults. Medical experts say they can now predict who will get type one diabetes and now, medical teams at Vanderbilt are testing a way to stop the disease from developing. And one young boy is forging the way. Condition in childhood. He’s a typical boy he loves to play games. But Jack Folker has a serious side, too. Jack “one of my teachers has diabetes at my school. She probably already knows a lot. Jack’s older brother, Ethan, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year. Although Jack does not have diabetes and his pancreas is working well, tests show a developing problem. Jack had the presence of antibodies in his very first blood sample so that means that he has a gene that has been activated or turned on to diabetes. Researchers say those markers show up even years before the true disease surfaces. Doctors still don’t know why the body’s immune system attacks the body. The cells that produce insulin become a target of your own immune system. We get white blood cells making antibodies. The antibodies draw in other cells that invade the pancreas and start to eat away, damage the beta cells. Doctors believe oral insulin, the same insulin used in shots for type 1 diabetics, could stop the attack. This insulin is degraded to smaller fragments, but they re-instruct the immune cells in the intestines to be tolerant of insulin and those cells can talk to the immune cells that are in the bloodstream and slowdown that inflammation and that destruction that is going on. Patients like jack will take a daily pill and doctors say, if this doesn’t stop diabetes, it at least can delay it. I just hope that we can stop diabetes. Here is your oral insulin kit. Though jack knows he is helping others, he cares most about his family. Jack says this research is something he wants to do. So i can help my brother and my cousin and my grandma. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is part of a network of international clinical centers working to prevent type one diabetes through trialnet.

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