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New nasal spray could prevent diabetes in kids

Posted On: June 17, 2011

London, June 15 (ANI): Australian researchers have developed a nasal spray vaccine, which could stop children from developing childhood diabetes, or type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, life-threatening condition that could shorten life, cause blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputation.

The researchers found that the nasal spray noticeably suppressed the immune response to insulin in 52 new type 1-diabetes patients.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and kills the beta cells and crucially, the insulin itself is a specific target of the immune attack that kills the beta cells.

Insulin is a vital hormone that moves glucose from the blood stream into the body's cells.

In the study, people were given either the nasal insulin vaccine or a placebo weekly for 12 months.

"The results showed that the vaccine allowed the immune system to restore immune tolerance to insulin," the Daily Express quoted immunologist professor Len Harrison, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia, as saying.

Harrison, however, said that the spray is not intended as a treatment for people who already have diabetes.

"Despite being a small trial, results showed that more than half of participants did not progress onto insulin therapy. This is a potentially interesting development although it is very early to be clear how significant it will be," said a spokeswoman for Diabetes UK.

The study was published in the journal Diabetes. (ANI)

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