Vaccine may reverse Type 1 diabetes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Vaccine may reverse Type 1 diabetes

The vaccine helps fight Type 1 diabetes by stopping the immune system from attacking the pancreas. (Source: Pixabay) The vaccine helps fight Type 1 diabetes by stopping the immune system from attacking the pancreas. (Source: Pixabay)

BOSTON (RNN) – Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital believe they have a breakthrough in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes.

New research out this week shows a common vaccine for tuberculosis may reverse the disease.

The eight-year study tested whether the vaccine could lower blood-sugar levels permanently.

And the answer seems to be yes, even for folks who’ve had Type 1 diabetes for decades.

Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes. It’s most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults.

 “This is clinical validation of the potential to stably lower blood sugars to near normal levels with a safe vaccine, even in patients with longstanding disease,” said Denise Faustman, the senior author of the npj Vaccines report.

The study shows the BCG tuberculosis vaccine improves blood-sugar levels after about three years and continues to do so for another four years.

The vaccine has been used for almost 100 years to prevent tuberculosis and is considered safe.

It helps fight Type 1 diabetes by stopping the immune system from attacking the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

“We now have a clear understanding of the mechanisms through which limited BCG vaccine doses can make permanent, beneficial changes to the immune system and lower blood sugars in Type 1 diabetes.”

Another clinical trial is underway to see if the results can be replicated.

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