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Home Industry News McGovern Medical School in Texas suggests possibility of prion-like transmission of type 2 diabetes

McGovern Medical School in Texas suggests possibility of prion-like transmission of type 2 diabetes

2nd August 2017

The McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Centre has suggested that type 2 diabetes can be transmitted by a mechanism similar to prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy – also known as mad cow disease.

The research used a mouse model where the mice’s pancreases were injected with small amounts of misfolded IAPP aggregates. This triggered the formation of protein deposits – or aggregates – in the pancreases.

Within weeks, these mice developed several symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, including a loss of pancreatic β cells and elevated blood glucose levels.

Claudio Soto, who led the research, warned against jumping to conclusions and said this data merely opened up a new area of research with profound implications for public health.

He commented: “Considering the experimental nature of the models and conditions utilised in this study, the results should not be extrapolated to conclude that type 2 diabetes is a transmissible disease in humans without additional studies.”

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 420 million people worldwide and stops the body from regulating blood glucose levels using the hormone insulin. What causes it is still not fully understood.

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