BWH Researchers Identify Antigen for Type 1 Diabetes

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Human study potentially identifies immune target of disease; information could lead to new treatments and prevention

Type 1 diabetes, diagnosed in children and adults, is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the pancreas no longer produces insulin. Diabetes, which ranks as the fifth-deadliest disease in the United States, has reached critical proportions affecting 18.2 million people or 6.3 percent of the population. To address what many consider a growing epidemic, scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Harvard Medical School (HMS) have focused their research on better understanding the mechanisms of the disease. Revealing the results of an eight-year research project, BWH researchers may have identified part of the puzzle underlying the cause of type 1 diabetes. They have found a single antigen: insulin, that appears to trigger the body to attack its own insulin producing cells. Researchers can now use this information in clinical trials to determine if

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