Health and Fitness

American Diabetes Association Announces Kansas City, Missouri Native Amy Johnson As 2010 National Youth Advocate

The American Diabetes Association announced that Amy Johnson, 17, of Kansas City, Missouri, will be the Association's 2010 National Youth Advocate. Johnson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12 years old. As the Association's National Youth Advocate, Johnson will spend 2010 meeting with policy makers, promoting the Association's advocacy agenda and reaching out to young people and adults encouraging them to become involved in the fight against diabetes. "Amy's advocacy work on the local, state and federal levels exemplifies a true commitment to the fight to stop diabetes, " said Nash M. Childs, PE, Chair of the Board of the Association. "She has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of all people affected by the disease. We're excited to have her passion and her energy on board for the coming year." Prior to being named National Youth Advocate, Johnson served as the Association's Youth Advocate in Kansas City where she spoke to schools and civic groups about diabetes and its impact in the community.

Access Pharmaceuticals Initiates Program Applying Cobalamin Platform To SiRNA Drug Delivery

ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (OTC Bulletin Board: ACCP) announced that it initiated an internal pre-licensing program to confirm the utility of its proprietary Cobalamin (vitamin B12) platform technology for targeted delivery of siRNA therapies. The program is considered important because, despite the widely publicized potential of RNA therapy, researchers up to now have been stymied in their efforts to design a pharmaceutical product that efficiently transports siRNA therapeutics into the cells they are designed to inhibit or kill. Access has multiple programs ongoing around use of its Cobalamin technology to facilitate oral absorption of pharmaceuticals, including previously announced collaborations with potential pharma and biotech partners. To date, its successful Cobalamin product development program has focused on the oral delivery of insulin and human growth hormone, two peptides that currently can only be given by injection. Because these two molecules share some of the same physical characteristics as RNA's active components, Access believes its Cobalamin technology could effectively deliver RNA therapy in an oral tablet instead of by injection.

Discovery Of Possible Source Of Beta Cell Destruction That Leads To Type 1 Diabetes Could Hold The Key To Reversing The Disease

Doctors at Eastern Virginia Medical School's Strelitz Diabetes Center have been stalking the culprit responsible for Type 1 diabetes. Now, they are one step closer. Members of a research team at the center, led by Jerry Nadler, MD, professor and chair of internal medicine and director of the center, have been studying the role of the enzyme 12-Lipoxygenase (12-LO) in the development of Type 1 diabetes. They hope that targeting this enzyme will hold the key to a cure. Dr. Nadler and several research colleagues in the EVMS Department of Internal Medicine, including Kaiwen Ma, PhD, research instructor; Swarup K. Chakrabarti, PhD, research assistant professor; and David A. Taylor-Fishwick, PhD, associate professor, recently published their findings in the February issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that develops when the pancreas stops generating enough insulin to maintain normal levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

JDRF-Funded Research Advances Potential For Regeneration As A Possible Cure For Type 1 Diabetes

A hormone responsible for the body's stress response is also linked to the growth of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, according to JDRF- funded researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. The findings are the latest advances to underscore the potential for regeneration as a key component of a possible cure for type 1 diabetes. The research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was led by Wylie Vale, Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Clayton Laboratories for Peptide Biology and Mark O. Huising, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the Clayton Foundation Laboratories. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation was a funder of the study. According to Patricia Kilian, Ph.D., Program Director for Regeneration at JDRF, the study showed that the stress hormone could increase the rate at which insulin-producing cells in the pancreas expand in animal models. These findings reinforce the potential of regeneration as a cure for diabetes and provide insights for discovering new approaches to treat people with diabetes by restoring or regenerating their ability to produce insulin.

Target Identified That May Reduce Complications Of Obesity

Although obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and coronary heart disease worldwide, only some obese individuals go on to develop these metabolic complications, while others are relatively protected. Defining these protective factors could help scientists prevent disease in the wider population. To this end, a research team at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, led by Suneil Koliwad, MD, PhD, recently added new details that link obesity to diabetes and heart disease. When individuals become obese from overeating, cells called adipocytes located in the fat tissue fill up with dietary fats and begin to die. Immune cells called macrophages move out of the blood stream and into this tissue, where they accumulate around dying adipocytes. As the macrophages work to clear away the dead cells, they are exposed to large amounts of dietary fat that can result in unwanted consequences. Exposure to saturated fats, in particular, causes the macrophages to enter an inflammatory state.

Young Patients With Type 1 Diabetes: Closed-Loop 'Artificial Pancreas' System Can Improve Blood Sugar Control

An article published Online First and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet reports that the use of 'artificial pancreas' closed-loop insulin delivery systems can improve blood sugar control in patients with type 1 diabetes. In these systems the insulin is delivered in response to changing blood sugar levels. The article is the work of Dr Roman Hovorka, Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and colleagues. The incidence of Type 1 diabetes has doubled during the past ten years. It is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. Children and adolescents need lifelong insulin treatment to achieve glucose control that is sufficient to prevent long-term complications. The combination of continuous glucose monitoring devices and insulin pumps can form closed-loop systems. Then insulin is delivered according to real-time sensor glucose data. It is directed by a control algorithm rather than pre-programmed rates. Few closed-loop prototypes have been developed.

TGen And Geisinger Health System Announce Strategic Partnership

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Geisinger Health System have announced the signing of a strategic research agreement that provides for a focused look at the gaps in clinical medicine where biomedical research can make a difference. One of the first projects will focus on the causes of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic conditions. Researchers plan to look at the possible genetic reasons why so many Americans are overweight, and why diet, exercise and, specifically, bariatric surgery may fail to significantly reduce excess weight in some patients. TGen, a non-profit biomedical research institute based in Phoenix, will pair its genomic and proteomic research expertise with the clinical excellence and research expertise of Geisinger, a non-profit medical and insurance provider based in Danville, Pa. Geisinger's strength is its integrated healthcare delivery model, nontransitory population and advanced electronic health record (EHR) with nearly two decades of data.

Congressional Leader Urges African Americans With Diabetes To Get Annual Diabetic Eye Exam

In recognition of Black History Month, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn is urging African Americans with diabetes to get an annual diabetic eye exam during February. The message, released in a new public service announcement produced in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology's (AAO) EyeSmart campaign and the Stop Diabetessm movement of the American Diabetes Association reminds the African American population of the dangers of diabetes and the importance of protecting your vision through regular dilated eye exams. The incidence of diabetes continues to increase, particularly among African Americans. 3.7 million African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes. Studies show that African Americans with diabetes are more likely to develop diabetic complications and experience greater disability from the complications than white Americans with diabetes. The only way to prevent this is through strict glucose control and by having an annual dilated eye exam. "Diabetes is an epidemic in the African American community, " said Congressman and House Majority Whip James E.

Scientists Map Out Regulatory Regions Of Genome, Hot Spots For Diabetes Genes

Together with colleagues in Barcelona, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have generated a complete map of the areas of the genome that control which genes are "turned on" or "off." The discovery, made in pancreatic islet cells, opens new avenues for understanding the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes and other common illnesses. "Most of the human genome is uncharted territory - entire stretches of sequence with no clear function or purpose, " said Jason Lieb, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at UNC, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and one of the senior authors of the study. "In fact, the majority of the DNA sequences associated with disease found thus far reside in the middle of nowhere. Here we have developed a map that can guide scientists to regions of the genome that do appear to be functionally relevant, instead of a dead end." The research, published online Jan. 31, 2010, in the journal Nature Genetics, presents the first high-resolution atlas of these regulatory elements in the most studied cell type for treatment and prevention of type II diabetes.

British People Too Busy To Get Physical

Nearly half of adults (44 per cent) are 'too busy' to do physical activity and two out of three are not doing the recommended 30 minutes a day, according to a survey of 2, 000 people. Although three quarters of those questioned consider themselves healthy, nearly all (93 per cent) confess to having at least one health sin such as eating takeaways regularly, binge drinking, not eating enough fruit and vegetables, and smoking. Most adults not reaching minimum activity levels "It is worrying that the majority of adults are not achieving the minimum level of physical activity, " said Libby Dowling, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK. Important for managing or reducing risk of diabetes "For people with diabetes who are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke, achieving at least 30 minutes a day is vital to help them manage their condition well, which in turn will lower their risk of long term complications. Physical activity can also help reduce a person's risk or delay onset of Type 2 diabetes.

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