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Stem cell therapy may benefit type 1 diabetics

Category: Diabetes

Neural stem cell transplants may soon become one of the best methods for improve insulin test scores among individuals with type 1 diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

A team of researchers from the AIST Institute in Tsukuba, Japan found that the hippocampus and olfactory bulb regions of the brain have significant quantities of stem cells that can develop into various types of tissue.

In testing on mice, they found that it is possible to harvest these stem cells from the brain and transplant them to the pancreas, the organ that produces insulin. Here, they develop into insulin-producing beta cells.

The mouse testing showed that this method allowed test subjects to increase their insulin production and lower their blood sugar levels. The team said this could represent an exciting new treatment for the condition.

"Our findings demonstrate the potential value of neural stem cells for treating diabetes without gene transfer," said lead researcher Tomoko Kuwabara. "This presents an original strategy to overcome the donor shortage which has hindered cell replacement therapy." ADNFCR-2248-ID-800621676-ADNFCR

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