Thursday, April 15, 2010

Closer to a Diabetes Vaccine

I have a friend who has type I diabetes and three children , a cute little neighbor girl and the child of a co-worker. I think my friend told me her kids have a 50% chance of being diabetic. If you don't know anyone with juvenile diabetes, it is a big deal. It is manageable, but certainly not easy. A vaccine that would preserve the healthy cells would be amazing if it is safe and really works!

FROM NBC: Living with diabetes can be difficult, especially if you're a child. Even though the disease can be managed, there's a lot of responsibility involved. But now there is an experimental vaccine that may make it easier for kids dealing with Type I diabetes. 12 year old Jessica Richiutti recently learned she's a Type 1 diabetic.

Her disease causes her immune system to attack the cells that make insulin. Dr. William J. Riley, Pediatric Endocrinologist said, "There's a period of time right at the diagnosis where there's a number of those cells that are not completely destroyed but they are able to function."

Jessica is one of dozens of kids testing a new vaccine, called Diamyd, to help preserve healthy cells before the disease destroys them all. Jessica Richiutti, Type 1 Diabetic said, "I just wanted to help kids and I figured if I could do it, I'm just gonna do it."
However, because it's a clinical study, she doesn't know if what's in this vial is actually the vaccine.

Jessica Richiutti, Type 1 Diabetic said,"I might get the placebo, I might get the real thing, but I'm still helping people."
Tony Richiutti, Jessica's Dad said, "She wraps it up as helping other kids, but really it's in a situation like this that you look for any hope -- and if not for us, then for the next guy." Jessica must test her blood sugar and inject insulin several times a day if the vaccine works that might change.

Dr. William J. Riley, Pediatric Endocrinologist said,"If we can preserve a few of those cells, she may not need to take as much insulin and her blood sugars will be very easy to control." High blood sugar can cause damage to the eyes and kidneys. So far, the vaccine seems to have few side effects, but it will be more than two years before researchers know if it's effective.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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