News / Health

    Antibody Could Reverse Diabetes

    New approach treats more than symptoms

    The most common form of diabetes, type 2, occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, which regulates sugar in the blood. The excess sugar can affect the heart and blood vessels, eyes and other organs.
    The most common form of diabetes, type 2, occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, which regulates sugar in the blood. The excess sugar can affect the heart and blood vessels, eyes and other organs.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Art Chimes

    Scientists in California have developed a new approach to treating diabetes which might be able to reverse the disease and not just treat the symptoms.

    The World Health Organization estimates that more than one-third of a billion people worldwide have diabetes. The most common form of the disease, type 2 diabetes, is on the rise. It's usually the result of excess weight and lack of physical exercise.

    The pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, which regulates sugar in the blood. The excess sugar can affect the heart and blood vessels, eyes, and other organs.



    Treatment includes losing weight and exercising. Some patients take insulin or other medicines.

    At the California biotechnology company Genentech, researchers have been investigating a growth factor protein called FGF21, which is involved in controlling blood sugar.

    Junichiro Sonoda says previous studies have shown that when FGF21 is injected into laboratory mice and monkeys, it has a variety of beneficial effects. "Well, the animals lose weight, and cholesterol, which increases cardiovascular risk, now goes down. And there's a good cholesterol called HDL, which level goes up with FGF21 treatment."

    Efforts to get the same effect in humans have been stymied by the fact that the effect lasts only a few hours. "So that means, to get the beneficial effect you have to inject a lot of it and many times during the day."

    So the Japanese-born researcher and his colleagues tried a different approach. They developed antibodies that mimic FGF21 by attaching to the same receptors in the pancreas and elsewhere, and they tested it on mice.

    "The blood glucose level got normalized. And we kept monitoring blood glucose after a single injection of this antibody, and it took almost 40 days for the blood glucose level to come back to a 'normal' diabetic level," Sonoda said.

    That kind of long-lasting effect is one of the things that drug developers look for.  "This could become the very first class of drug that could reverse the disease instead of just treat the symptoms of disease. That would be a huge benefit for patients."

    Junichiro Sonoda says further work is needed on this potential antibody-based treatment for diabetes before moving on to human testing. A paper describing the research is published in  Science Translational Medicine.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora