A study done on mice models by the researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio was successful in programming existing cells in the pancreas, other than beta cells, to produce insulin to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) or juvenile diabetes.
The researchers wanted to find out the possibility of insulin secretion in the body with cells other than beta cells (already damaged and not producing insulin) in the pancreas, without new beta cells transplantation. They employed "Gene Transfer" technology in mice models to activate those cells in the pancreas which are producing certain enzymes, to produce insulin. That means, researchers successfully gave the additional job (discharging insulin), to non-insulin secreting pancreas cells. In their study, they used a virus to transfer the gene to enzyme-producing cells in the pancreas to produces insulin. This method was approved by US FDA previously in treating other diseases.
The genetically modified cells with additional task were not attacked by the immune system of the mice models. Bloodstream of the mice models got the right amount of insulin to maintain blood sugar levels and no signs of diabetes even after one year. The researchers are planning to conduct human trials in three years. Authors of the study were Ralph A DeFronzo, chief of the diabetes research and Dr. Bruno Doiron PhD and the study findings were published in the academic journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.
A study done by researchers from Finland shows smaller stature or height of an individual is a risk factor for high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension or High blood pressure (BP) is a silent killer and a big risk factor for diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), stroke and heart attack. The researchers recorded blood pressure (BP) and 24-hour ambulatory BP measurements of 534 participants (both men and women). They are not under blood pressure medication and the average age of the participants was 61 years.
The researchers, after considering factors such as age, body fat, smoking habits and physical activity, found that as the height of an individual decrease, blood pressure increases. And the height factor was independent of body mass index (BMI). They also found a decrease in triglycerides and total cholesterol levels with an increase in height of an individual. There was an independent association between height and blood pressure (BP) irrespective of BMI and adiposity in an individual with normal and slightly overweight. Authors of the study are Paivi E Korhonen, Johan G Eriksson and Hannu Kautiainen and the study findings were published in the Journal of Hypertension.
Total cholesterol : The total cholesterol levels indicate the amount of cholesterol in our body. Combined value low-density lipoprotein (LDL or BAD cholesterol), high-density lipoprotein (HDL or GOOD cholesterol) and of one-fifth of the triglyceride makes up total cholesterol value. This value in healthy individuals should be less than 200 and in individuals with diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases should be less than 180. A test called lipid profile shows cholesterol levels in an individual's body. Cholesterol levels in the body can be reduced with the healthy fiber-rich diet, daily physical exercise and with no smoking habits.
Ambulatory BP : The blood pressure may be elevated due to nervousness and anxiety of the patient during the clinical blood pressure measurement process. This effect is known as white coat hypertension effect. To reduce this effect, blood pressure will be measured at regular intervals known as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.