Type 1 diabetes vaccine shows promise in early study: researchers
In a nation with an estimated 79 million pre-diabetics, we have refused to provide effective diabetes prevention for the decade that we have perfectly well known how. One can only conclude that educating people to take control of their own health — especially people long subject to public health messaging that brands them as unreachable and unteachable — is something the United States refuses to do. The particular funding which New York has been unable to use currently is part of its Medicaid waiver funds — money that states claim back from the federal government for “innovative” uses based on the Medicaid savings they achieve through health reform. The federal government has held back these funds as part of an overall, year-long dispute about New York State Medicaid — perhaps understandable given the state’s various Medicaid scandals. What isn’t understandable is that there’s always an excuse, somehow, not to allocate prevention funds which absolutely nobody disputes would save millions of dollars in the costs of ongoing illness.
Some prior attempts suppressed desirable parts of the immune system, leaving individuals vulnerable to infections and cancer. Several teams are now attempting more targeted approaches in an effort to delay or reverse type 1 diabetes. Those with this form of diabetes currently must monitor their blood sugar and take insulin several times a day, but the treatment is risky – it can cause coma or death at any time and can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, blindness and kidney failure over time. “What one really wants to do is tame or regulate the specific aspects of the immune system that have gone awry and leave the rest of the immune system intact,” said Dr. Richard Insel, chief scientific officer of JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.