BY MONICA MOURA: Scientists have identified four viruses which make copycat proteins similar to insulin, the hormone which regulates blood sugar.
The viruses can trick insulin receptors in human cells with the proteins they make.
But the copycat insulin is more weak than the real thing, allowing blood sugar to soar and raising the risk of type 2 diabetes, the study of mouse cells found.
It is also feared to be a factor in type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body is unable to make insulin. (read more)
BY NEWSMAX HEALTH: Obese people who get bariatric surgery are less likely to require medication to control diabetes symptoms afterward, compared to those who don’t get operations to lose weight, a French study suggests.
Researchers examined data on 15,650 obese patients who had weight-loss surgery in France in 2009, including 1,633 people who were on medications to help control diabetes at the time. The surgery recipients were compared to an equal number of similar obese patients who were hospitalized that year but didn’t get bariatric surgery. (read more)
BY CHEN J: An active metabolite in the rheumatoid arthritis treatment leflunomide may inhibit a protein that affects insulin-receptor signaling in mice, making the anti-inflammatory drug a potentially effective treatment for type 2 diabetes, according to study findings published in the Journal of Endocrinology.
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and obesity than those without rheumatoid arthritis, Xiulong Xo, PhD,professor at the Institute of Comparative Medicine at Yangzhou University, China, and colleagues wrote in the study background. Currently, patients with both rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are treated with diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis drugs separately, they noted, and a treatment targeting both would benefit patients with both conditions. (read more)
BY ETHAN WESTON: Diabetes is normally split into two categories: Type 1 and Type 2. But a group of scientists from Sweden and Finland say diabetes is actually five separate diseases.
Each of the five proposed categories is genetically distinct. Their characteristics vary by the patient’s age, weight, resistance to insulin, the amount of insulin they produce and whether their diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disorder. (read more)
BY ALLISON AUBREY: People who are diagnosed with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent the disease if they change their lifestyle and lose a significant amount of weight. But here’s the challenge: How can people be motivated to eat healthier and move more? Increasingly, the answer might include digital medicine.
“Just telling people to do things doesn’t work,” says Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be more than 80 million adults in the U.S. with pre-diabetes.
Omada has rolled out a digital program, delivered on smartphones and other devices, that incorporates all the ingredients known to help people overhaul their habits. It includes e-coaching; peer support; education; diet and exercise tracking; and electronic nudging. (Forget to weigh in or track your meals? You’ll get texts or emails reminding you to do it.) (read more)