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Asked by jennnycow to Darren, Krystal, Lee, Tara, Upulie on 21 Jun 2011.
Keywords: diabetes, mechanism, spray
I’m not certain about this, I’m not an expert on diabetes.
Diabetes type one is caused when the body cannot use insulin to regulate blood sugar. My limited understanding of the nasal spray is that it is more of a vaccine than a cure. I think one cause of type one diabetes is an immune response against insulin, so the body attacks and destroys its own insulin. I believe the vaccine works to stop this immune response, so the body does not destroy its insulin.
This spray was invented at the place where I work! I know the scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne who are testing this spray in patients and the results they have so far show that the spray will protect against Type 1 diabetes.
Sorry – your question was how does it work… so Type 1 diabetes happens when your immune system goes wrong, and starts destroying the cells in your body that make insulin. That’s why people with Type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin, cause their body can’t make it anymore.
The nose spray is being used on kids before they develop diabetes. It sprays a small amount of insulin into the nose, so the immune system sees the insulin and kind of adjusts and gets used to it. So by using the spray, gradually, bit by bit, the immune system gets de-sensitized to insulin and learns not to attack it. The insulin can still work in the body, and the immune system no longer wants to attack and destroy the cells that make insulin.
This is called tolerance, the spray makes the immune system tolerant of insulin, so it doesn’t attack the cells in the body that make insulin, so you don’t get Type 1 diabetes.
Read more about insulin spray for diabetes here: http://bit.ly/jqTUsB
thanks guys ! and @krystal, that’s so cool knowing and being one of the people helping out others thorugh science.
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Hi @jennycow – Thanks for all your great chat questions today – keep them coming!
thankyou and sure will
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