I have compiled some references and excerpts from the latest
headlines regarding "good news" in the treatment and potential cures
on the horizon for heart disease and diabetes. These headlines just
start to skim the surface of the latest insights into these complex
diseases. I have to agree with you - it is about time for some
"New treatment for type 1 diabetes studied." 2006 - United Press International
"Emory University and University of Alberta scientists say islet cell
xenotransplantation presents a promising near-term diabetes
"Islet cell transplantation has been successful in reversing type 1
diabetes in humans, but the limited availability of islet cells has
"To meet the needs of millions of people suffering from type 1
diabetes, we must find new donor sources to allow large-scale
application of islet cell transplantation in humans," said Dr.
Christian Larsen, director of the Emory Transplant Center and
affiliate scientist at the Yerkes Research Center. "While there is
much work to be done, these studies suggest the rejection response to
porcine islets can be surmounted."
"Treatment that ends insulin jabs lined up," BY LINDA SUMMERHAYES.
February 2006. http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=301652006
"REVOLUTIONARY treatment for diabetes which promises to end the need
for patients to inject themselves with insulin could be available in
Edinburgh within the year. The treatment involves the removal of
insulin-producing cells from the pancreas of a donor being injected
into a patient's liver. It is thought the new treatment would be
beneficial to people with the most severe form of diabetes, Type 1."
"Cell transplant may cure diabetes." BBC News. January 2006
"Trials of a new treatment for diabetes could lead to a cure for the
disease within 10 years, researchers say. Doctors at Oxford's
Churchill Hospital are trying to perfect the transplant of
insulin-producing clusters of pancreas cells (islets) into patients'
"The cells then enable the patient to make their own insulin, which
regulates blood sugar levels, like non-diabetics. It is hoped the new
treatment may end the need for patients to have pancreas transplants
or daily insulin jabs."
"Discovery suggests new diabetes treatment." May 5, 2004
"In work that suggests a new treatment for adult-onset diabetes, a
research team at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has found a
gene that revs up the energy-producing ability of muscle cells. Doing
so could lessen the harmful effects of the disease."
"Pig Cells Cure Monkey Diabetes - Researchers use pig
insulin-producing cells to cure monkeys of type 1 diabetes." February
"Scientists have successfully cured type 1 diabetes in macaque monkeys
using cells for the pancreases of newly born pigs and a novel
immunosuppressant drug, suggesting a pig-cell cure for the human
disease might be just around the corner."
"The monkeys with the transplanted insulin-producing pancreatic cells,
called islet cells, were able to produce insulin for the rest of their
lives. The research was published online Sunday in the journal Nature
"New vaccine trials bring hope of cure for diabetes," by Sam Lister. 2004
"A VACCINE against the most serious form of diabetes is to be tested
on humans for the first time, raising the prospect that a cure could
be widely available in less than a decade. The Times has learnt that
British scientists have gathered 18 patients with type 1 diabetes,
which usually appears before the age of 40, to begin the trial in
"The beginning of human trials marks one of the most significant
advances against the disease since the widespread prescription of
insulin began in the 1920s. This has been the only way to treat
diabetes for the past 80 years.
"The new treatment could act both as a vaccine and a cure. Those with
a family risk of diabetes could be vaccinated to prevent it
developing, while in newly diagnosed diabetics it could halt progess
of the disease as it can take five years for insulin production to
cease altogether. However long-term sufferers will not benefit."
"Marijuana Compound May Help Stop Diabetic Retinopathy." February 27, 2006
"A compound found in marijuana won?t make you high but it may help
keep your eyes healthy if you?re a diabetic, researchers say."
"Lifestyle Factors Affect Your Risk for Diabetes." Ghanaian Chronicle
(Accra). February 24, 2006.
"Although the development of type 2 diabetes may be affected by your
genes, behavioral and lifestyle factors are also important, and are
things we can change. Recent studies in the United States suggest that
90% of type 2 diabetes in women can be attributed to: excess weight,
lack of exercise, a less-than-healthy diet, and smoking.Information
from several clinical trials strongly supports the idea that type 2
diabetes is preventable."
"Making healthy changes in your diet can have a big impact on reducing
the risk of type 2 diabetes."
Also see "Advances in Diabetes."
"Laughing may reduce risk of heart disease." 02/27/2006
"If you don't want to be broken hearted, you might try laughing. New
research shows it may protect you against heart disease, the nation's
number one killer.
"In a recent study, volunteers were shown two movies: one funny one
and one stressful one. The endothelium, which is the lining of the
blood vessels, was measured before and after watching both films."
"Dr. Michael Miller, M.D., a cardiologist at the University of
Maryland, says, "We believe that there is a direct effect on how our
endothelium behaves and the development and progression of heart
"The vessels were all of a normal size before watching the high stress
movie "Saving Private Ryan." After the movie, the vessels got smaller.
"After the funny movie, the vessels expand, increasing blood flow."
"Doctors say you don't need to laugh for 15 or 20 minutes a day. A few
good, hearty laughs is all it takes to reduce stress."
"Handful of Walnuts Good for Heart, Prevents Cancer," by Ozcan Yagmur.
January 29, 2006. http://www.zaman.com/?bl=national&alt=&trh=20060129&hn=29163
"A scientific study revealed that consuming an average of 50-100
milligrams of walnut for 2-4 months decreases the level of total
cholesterol. In particular, it decreases the level of "bad"
cholesterol, which is an important risk factor in heart and vessel
"A professor from the Gazi University Medical Faculty Basic Medical
Studies, Orhan Canpolat reporters, "The common view is that walnuts
have an important nutritional value for preventing heart and vessel
diseases as it decreases the level of cholesterol and bad cholesterol
in the body and increases the level of good cholesterol."
"Chocolate Does a Man's Heart Good." February 2006.
"Chocolate lovers, take heart: Dutch research suggests that eating or
drinking cocoa appears to lower blood pressure and even reduce the
death risks for older men."
"Optimism Can Be Good for Your Heart." Feb 27th, 2006
"A rosy outlook on life is good for your heart. A study of Dutch men
aged 64 to 84 shows optimism can cut in half the risk of
cardiovascular death over 15 years. Previous research has suggested a
positive attitude can boost overall physical health and lower the risk
of death from all causes."
"Hormone therapy timing may cut heart risk," by Judy Foreman. Medical
Matters, Feb. 2006
"The new results suggest a window of opportunity near menopause during
which estrogen therapy may reduce heart disease risk, not raise it, as
starting hormones a decade or so later seems to do."
"New Tool for Fighting Heart Disease?" January 2005
"Reducing the amount of a protein secreted during inflammation may be
just as important as lowering cholesterol in slowing the onset of
heart disease, according to two studies published Thursday in the New
England Journal of Medicine. The researchers, analyzing data from
larger studies of heart patients, found that lowering levels of
C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with severe heart disease led to
fewer heart attacks and deaths. Lower CRP levels were also linked with
slowing the progression of heart disease."
"The studies offer strong evidence that inflammation is a major factor
in the progression of heart disease and may make statins - including
best-selling cholesterol drugs such as Pravachol, Zocor and Lipitor -
even more popular. While genetics plays a part, higher CRP levels also
tend to be found in people who smoke, have high blood pressure, are
overweight or don't exercise. Eating and smoking less, and exercising
more, can lower CRP levels. But the studies indicate that statins,
which have commonly been used to lower LDL cholesterol levels, may
help fight heart disease by lowering CRP levels as well."
"Statins, Beta-blockers Lessen Heart Attack Risk, Says Stanford-Kaiser
Study." Source: Stanford University Medical Center. February 24, 2006
"For patients with undiagnosed heart disease, taking medications known
as statins and beta-blockers may mean the difference between suffering
a heart attack as a first symptom versus experiencing mild chest
"New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests
that these preventive drugs can steer patients away from having a
heart attack toward the less serious symptom of mild chest pain that
occurs only with exercise (angina) even if they don't stop the
build-up of cholesterol in a patient's arteries. The study, to be
published in the Feb. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, was
conducted with investigators at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
in Oakland and the University of California-San Francisco."
"That's the scary thing about heart disease," said senior author Mark
Hlatky, MD, professor of health research and policy and of
cardiovascular medicine at Stanford. "You can be fine one minute and
dead the next. You can put up with a little chest pain every once in a
while if you know you're not about to die from it."
Read "Nonsurgical Treatments for Heart Disease." WebMD Live Events Transcript
Tuesday, July 26, 2005. E. Murat Tuzcu, MD
Read "What's the future of heart disease treatment?" Today Show. Jan. 25, 2006
I hope these resources are helpful!
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