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Type 2 diabetes study yields discovery, new treatment options

(The Post, Athens, OH) Authors from Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Virginia recently completed a study that could change the way doctors treat Type 2 diabetes.
Previously, scientists believed diabetes impaired the normal functions of insulin-producing pancreatic cell clusters called islets. Findings from the study, however, show that diabetes creates a hypersensitivity to glucose within the islets, which alters normal insulin release in the islets and causes them to release more insulin than is needed.
“By tricking these islets into thinking they are seeing less glucose, we seem to be able to restore normal function in diabetic islets,” Dr. Craig Nunemaker, an associate professor at OU-HCOM and a co-author of the study, said in a news release.
The findings suggest that islet function can be restored in certain conditions, but exposure to high glucose levels can make the islets more vulnerable to other factors that cause abnormal insulin production. For the highest chance of restoring islet function, patients should seek intervention or treatment early in the disease process, Nunemaker said.
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