From Melvindale, Michigan, USA:
I recently saw a man on television who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and doctors removed cells from his own body, washed them, and then returned them. After doing this, his MS is 90 percent better. He has no symptoms for the time being and he was walking with a cane. (He had full body tremors and was in a wheel chair.) Is there a chance that this same procedure could be done on people with type 1 diabetes?
Multiple sclerosis is indeed thought to be another autoimmune disorder in which T-lymphocytes are activated against certain proteins in the white matter of the central nervous system. The procedure that you described was probably plasmapheresis, a process whereby specific anti-myelin antibodies are removed from the blood stream. It is one of many immunomodulatory trials that have been used in MS.
Such an approach would not be appropriate in type 1A diabetes because all the evidence is that the autoantibodies are markers of disease; but do not themselves damage the islet cells. Just the same, there is much active research on ways to modify the immune process so as prolong the honeymoon period while there is still some undamaged islet cells, and on trying to achieve this at a much earlier stage.
Original posting 20 Aug 2001
Posted to Research: Cure
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:24
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