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Stem Cell Research Could Improve Life For Type 1 Diabetics

While stem cell research has been a hotbed of controversy for conditions and diseases like cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, spinal chord injuries and some even think it could be an anti-aging serum, but stem cell research has been a leading potential answer for Type 1 diabetics for over a decade.

There are three types of diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and will often go away once the pregnancy has been completed. Type 2 diabetes accounts for nearly 90 percent of all diabetics. Type 2 diabetes can be, in most cases, prevented with diet, exercise, oral drugs and even insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is not curable and is only treatable with insulin shots. Type 1 diabetics have to take these shots from the point they are diagnosed for the rest of their life. Diabetes often leads to heart disease, eye problems such as glaucoma, leg and feet problems that can lead to amputations, neuropathy and mental health problems. There is no cure.

But stem cell research has given diabetics hope for a cure after several clinical trials reported success among trial patients. A study done in 2009 reported that diabetics that received new blood stem cells could go without insulin for nearly two and a half years, in the best subjects of the test. Overall, 20 of the 23 patients were able to stay off insulin anywhere from a month to several years. The patients also seemed to have insulin-producing beta cells that are typically destroyed by the auto-immune disease.

Several of the trials have been completed with similar results, and diabetics all over the world are looking forward to stem cell research funding to come through.

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