UT Southwestern may have found potential cure for Type 1 diabetes

DALLAS — Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggested that taking away the actions of a certain hormone can alter Type 1 diabetes into "an asymptomatic, noninsulin-dependent disorder."

When testing mice, the researchers found that insulin is not depended on when the body's hormone, glucagon, is suppressed.

"We've all been brought up to think insulin is the all-powerful hormone without which life is impossible, but that isn't the case," said Roger Unger, professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study appearing online and in the February issue of Diabetes. "If diabetes is defined as restoration of glucose homeostasis to normal, then this treatment can perhaps be considered very close to a 'cure.'"

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a disease that occurs when the body does not produce insulin. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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