Diabetes treatment > Latest advances


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.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: controvery, confusion, concern

Post-menopausal women with diabetes derive similar benefits from hormone replacement therapies as women without diabetes. Despite this, women with diabetes represent the group with the lowest frequency of hormone replacement therapy use. This is a result of much scientific controversy about the risks and benefits of this therapy.

Successful islet transplantation has finally arrived: fact or fantasy?

Currently, transplantation of whole pancreases results in insulin independence and normalization of glycosylated haemoglobin values for three years in up to 80 percent of recipients. One group of investigators in Edmonton, Canada, has had initial success with the less invasive procedure of islet transplantation. Should this procedure take precedence?

The EASD 37th annual meeting in Glasgow

The 37th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) from 9-13 September, hosted by Diabetes UK, was the biggest meeting of the EASD to date. Ten thousand people in total attended the array of satellite symposia, lectures, poster sessions and the exhibition. However, the news of the terrorist attack in New York, shocking to everyone, dampened proceedings and caused logistical chaos for the American delegation. Following is a brief overview of some of the many interesting topics presented at the meeting.

Beta cell insulin therapy

The insulin pump offers advantages to some people with Type 1 diabetes, freeing them from the chore of administering a number of injections every day. However, the high cost of the pump and the need for careful supervision will limit its use to wealthy patients who can count on sophisticated medical support. This article proposes the use of "beta cell therapy" in order to create surrogate insulin-producing cells.

Towards a new approach to lipid disorders in diabetes: the Heart Protection Study

The benefits of cholesterol-lowering therapy in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) for people with diabetes and high cholesterol levels had already been suggested by sub-group analysis of some earlier studies. However, there was still substantial uncertainty as to what extent cholesterol-lowering therapy could

Diabetic eye disease: how you can watch out for it

Among the most feared diabetes complications are those affecting the eyes. Indeed, diabetes is the leading cause of partial vision loss and blindness in the working age population in many countries. The good news is that it does not have to be so.

Glucagon-like peptide 1: new therapies for Type 2 diabetes

We usually assume that the ups and downs of blood glucose are solely responsible for changes in the release of insulin into the circulation, such as in response to a meal. However, the release of insulin from the pancreas is supported by signals from the alimentary canal (gut). When food is transported from the stomach into the small intestine, from which glucose, fat and proteins are absorbed into the blood, gut hormones are released into the circulation. Around 50%

Bringing advanced therapies to market faster: a role for biosimulation?

In the last 10 years, genomic and proteomic technologies have been applied to identify and develop a new generation of diabetes treatments. While these technologies have become increasingly automated, producing a deluge of potential therapeutic targets and biological insights, projections estimate that individual drug development time and cost will continue to rise and soon exceed 1 billion USD. A significant contributor to this rising cost is the large