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Diabetes after transplantation: revised guidelines target early treatment

People who have a kidney, liver or heart transplant are at high risk of developing diabetes. This can lead to cardiovascular disease and the rejection of the transplant. Factors such as age, weight and family history can increase the risk of new-onset diabetes after transplantation. Importantly, drugs that suppress the immune system and prevent transplant rejection also play a key role. In December 2003, an international panel of experts in transplantation and diabetes met to update the existing guidelines for the management of new-onset diabetes after

New treatments for diabetes: generating new insulin-producing cells

A new generation of treatments for Type 1 diabetes is likely to come from within our own bodies. We know that a wide range of cell types have the ability to regenerate. Although some of these cells are found outside the pancreas, their regenerative capacity can be harnessed to replenish the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas that are destroyed in diabetes. In this article, Denise Faustman looks at the potential benefits and pitfalls of four biologically based therapies, all of which take advantage of the body’s own capacity for healing and renewal.

Enhancing insulin secretion: novel approaches to glucose control

When we eat, the concentration of glucose in our blood rises due to the uptake of glucose from the digestion of starch and other carbohydrates in the gut. In healthy people, the increase is modest; eating activates other processes that

Eighty nobel prize winners appeal to President Bush

US President George W Bush received a letter that came straight to the point. “We urge you to support stem cell research.” This appeal did not waste words. The signatories had already said and done enough that is meaningful: no less than eighty of the signatures were Nobel prize winners. Stem cell research promises help to numerous people affected by chronic diseases and illnesses. The supporting argument is that if the embryos are to be destroyed anyway, would it not be better if they could be used to save the chronically ill.

Insulin therapy: current views and new options

Since the discovery of insulin, treatment for diabetes has come a long way towards saving the lives of those affected. There are now many options which make diabetes care more convenient and comfortable. People with diabetes have become more and more responsible for their own care through the development of new knowledge and new possibilities. This article presents a brief commentary on what is now available in diabetes insulin treatment.

Gene therapy: looking for alternatives to insulin injection

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes greatly increase the risk of dying from heart disease and are leading causes of blindness, leg amputation and kidney failure. There is now conclusive evidence that these long-term complications of diabetes can be prevented by keeping blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible. However, achieving this with conventional insulin injections results in a three-fold increase in the number of incapacitating attacks due to low glucose levels.

Expensive new drugs: NICE or not so nice?

Around the world, healthcare services face increasing demands from aging populations, with high disease burdens and expensive new ways of managing them. Many new drugs and other health technologies cost considerably more than those they supplant, but may only give a proportionately small health gain. As a result individuals, insurance companies, health maintenance organizations and national health services are forced to take decisions on which new therapies can be afforded for whom.

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