Both type-1 and type-2 diabetes caused by the same mechanism, researchers report

Toxic clumps of a hormone called amylin could be the underlying cause of the formation of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the Universities of Manchester and Auckland.

Insulin and amylin are both produced in the pancreas, normally working together to regulate how the body responds to food intake. If amylin gets deposited around pancreatic cells in toxic clumps, however, this can destroy the cells that produce insulin and amylin - resulting in diabetes.

The study's findings come after 20 years of research, and they suggest that both types of diabetes could be slowed down or reversed by medications that could stop amylin clumps from forming in the first place.

Type 1 and type 2 differences

Previous research by the study's lead investigator, Garth Cooper, found that this amylin clumping is the mechanistic cause of type 2 diabetes, and the new study provides strong evidence that type-1 diabetes is also caused by this action.

"The difference is that the disease starts at an earlier age and progresses more rapidly in type-1 compared to type-2 diabetes because there is more rapid deposition of toxic amylin clumps in the pancreas," a press release on the study stated.

Source: Manchester University
Image courtesy of David Castillo/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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