UAB made a really big announcement today! The drug Verapamil, which is used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and migraine headaches, could also be used to treat people suffering with diabetes. The drug could stop diabetes from getting worse, and even could reverse diabetes. For a while, UAB has been testing Verapamil on lab mice. And the results have shown that the diabetes in the mice has been reversed after using the drug. Here is a video from UAB explaining how this drug could work in humans.
UAB has been conducting their research on the protein called TXNIP, which is overproduced in the pancreas when there is too much blood sugar in the blood. This causes the body to reduce the production of insulin and even results in some beta cells dying. UAB will now be conducting a three-year trial involving 52 people recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. The patients will receive either Verapamil or a placebo for a year, along with normal insulin pump therapy and continuous blood sugar monitoring. The patient recruiting and the trial will begin in early 2015.
The trial is being funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation via a $2.1 million grant. The trial will be known as “the repurposing of Verapamil as a beta cell survival therapy in type 1 diabetes.” If this trial is successful, it will move scientists one step closer to a total cure of diabetes, which is the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death, and raises risks for heart attacks, blindness, kidney disease, and limb amputation. Diabetes also costs billions of dollars to treat annually, that would be some big savings if diabetes was a thing of the past.
To learn more about this UAB study, watch the video below, or click on the link! http://www.uab.edu/news/innovation/item/5508
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