Scientists have recently created a vaccine that could prevent type 1 diabetes in children that is about to start clinical trials next year.
It is important to note that this new drug will function as a vaccine and not a cure, so those who already have the disease will not benefit from this research. Essentially, the vaccine helps the body’s immune system fight against a virus known to cause type 1 diabetes.
The research was conducted by the University of Tampere in Finland and already it is showing strong signs to prevent the disease in the future.
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Type 1 diabetes is a decreased ability to produce insulin that appears early on in a person’s life. This is contrasted with the more prevalent Type 2 diabetes that prevails later in life due to poor diet habits coupled with genetics.
Type 1 diabetes is known to occur due to the destruction of pancreatic tissue due to a wrongfully activated immune system in a patient, often in the first years of a person’s life. A type of virus called an enterovirus has been linked to the cause of this immune system disorder, which is the main reason why a vaccine is possible in this circumstance.
While this vaccine is making headlines and is great news in the grand scheme of medical research, the actual application of the new drug will be slow-going. Clinical trials are scheduled to start next year and conclusive results aren’t expected to be collected for another 8 years following that. Assuming the trial goes well and results are positive, then regulators can begin discussing whether the vaccine can be made ready for public use.
In total, there are 20 to 40 million people around the world with type 1 diabetes. Implementation of this vaccine down the line could help eradicate it.
Research published in Science Direct.