To maintain my sanity, whenever I hear someone talk about curing diabetes I keep two things in the back of my mind:
Firstly, for as long as I can remember, a cure for diabetes has always been 10 years away.
Secondly, the press will generally announce a cure for my diabetes once a week, usually based on some shaky evidence involving a 3 day trial on a diabetic mouse and a meerkat where they weren’t given any insulin and then they were run over by a truck, thereby proving that they lived without insulin for 3 days and didn’t die of diabetes.
However, despite the word cure making me a little sceptical, I’m interested in what’s going on out there to try and make up for the ineptitude of my pesky pancreas.
Diatribe (who do a very nice monthly newsletter focussed around research and product developments in diabetes) have produced a 153 page epic on the progress being made towards curing type 1 diabetes. I tend to find these sort of things are written with a distinct bias towards favouring particular areas with the aim of increasing research funds into a particular technique, or are overly optimistic without addressing the realities of life with diabetes.
This is different. Kelly Close and her team have broken down the four main areas of diabetes research into a cure for Type 1 and looked at them with a realistic eye. They look at immune therapeutics, islet and pancreas transplantation, beta cell regeneration and the artificial pancreas. They’ve been clear about where things are blue sky ideas that may come to something in a few decades, and where things are actually a realistic possibility.
The report is pretty easy to read and gave me the best understanding I’ve had for a long time about what’s really going on in the world of Type 1 research. To download a free copy of the report, you just need to join the diatribe mailing list – www.diatribe.us/cure. This is the best overview of research into Type 1 I can ever remember seeing, it’s definitely worth a read.