Friday, September 18, 2009
Medical Reports: Putting the Brakes on Diabetes
Having type one diabetes can be difficult to deal with, especially during childhood. Now, a new experimental treatment is hoping to put the brakes on diabetes early on! 7's Christine Cruz has the story.
WSVN -- A jam session in the garage is just what the doctor ordered for Daniel Albright.
Daniel Albright: "It's just a way to get energy out for sure."
The 17-year-old has type-one diabetes. He's one of three kids in his family coping with the disease.
Donna Albright: "We had to buy a piece of furniture to store supplies."
Since his siblings were diagnosed first, Daniel was closely monitored and his doctors were able to spot signs of his diabetes early. Right now he's in a honeymoon period which means his body is still producing some insulin.
Donna Albright: "Instead of saying, oh well, you have diabetes, here's the medication and here's the teaching, let's see what we can do to prevent it from getting worse to stop it in it's tracks."
Daniel enrolled in a clinical trial to put the brakes on his diabetes. He gets monthly infusions of a rheumatoid arthritis drug called abatacept. The goal, stop Daniel's immune system from killing the insulin-producing cells he has left.
Dr. William Russell, Dir. of Pediatric Endocrinology & Diabetes, Vanderbilt University: "When you're first diagnosed with diabetes you probably have anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of your insulin producing cells still available, and we'd like to freeze it there."
In animal studies, the drug prevented full-blown diabetes from developing. In people that would mean lower doses of insulin, easier blood sugar control and a lower risk of hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood sugar.
Dr. William Russell: "It's much easier to take care of diabetes when the patient themselves is making adequate amounts of insulin."
After a couple of months of infusions Daniel is already using less insulin than his siblings, which means he can continue to rock out to a healthier childhood!
The drug is FDA approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but hasn't been approved yet for diabetes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet