NEWARK NJ – Would you swallow a drug made from a parasitic worm if it provided long-term protection against developing Type 1 diabetes? Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School think it may be worth considering.
The results of a study they announced Wednesday (July 18, 2012), which have already been published in the journal Mucosal Immunology, indicate that “short-term infection with intestinal worms” in mice protected the animals from developing the disease. They theorize the treatment might do the same for humans too, although more research is needed.
Researchers noted that residents of developing countries have a “relatively low” incidence of Type 1 diabetes. Their study was based on the theory that those same residents suffer from chronic intestinal worm infections that dampen cells which cause diabetes and other auto-immune diseases.
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This article is one of several about diabetes prevention, diagnosis and care based on advance and live reporting Aug. 1-4, 2012, by The Post Publications from the American Association of Diabetes Educators 2012 conference in Indianapolis IN. Follow us on Twitter at @PostsOnHealth; we’re using the hashtag #PostsAADE2012 to identify conference Tweets. Follow us on Facebook at The Post Publications. See the entire series here.