Scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a breakthrough treatment for Type 1 diabetes in mice. And, as we all know, diabetic mice are the saddest thing ever because they have no thumbs to work their little insulin pens. The researchers at UT suppressed glucagon in diabetic mice. Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas which raises blood glucose levels (as opposed to insulin, which lowers blood sugar). The mice with suppressed glucagon levels were able to stop using insulin without experiencing any apparent adverse effects.
The findings show that glucagon may play a large, if not more important, role in controlling glucose levels. After elimination of the hormone, test subjects had completely normal blood sugar levels.
“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 Dr. Roger Unger, the study’s chief researcher. “If diabetes is defined as restoration of glucose homeostasis to normal, then this treatment can perhaps be considered very close to a ‘cure.'” [EndocrineWeb via Gizmodo]
Be careful, Dr. Unger. If Wilford Brimley finds out you’re undercutting his lucrative testing supplies endorsement money, he might lick all the spoons in your silverware drawer. That’s how you catch the diabetes. I really need to stop making jokes about diabetes, but the next stop after diabetes jokes is Parkinson’s jokes, and I’ve been informed I have to stop making those jokes. The Parkinson’s people are shaking me down.