Joslin investigators find innovative ways to predict, prevent and reverse diabetes complications through eye, kidney, vascular cell and insulin-producing beta cell studies.
In type 1 diabetes, the body relentlessly attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. But a study by Joslin scientists has firmly established that some of these cells endure for many decades in a small group of people with the disease—offering clues to potential treatments for preserving and even restoring the crucial cell population.
If left untreated, about a quarter of people with diabetes eventually lose some of their vision from diabetic macular edema—a condition in which leaking blood vessels cause swelling in the center of the retina. While laser treatments based on work pioneered at Joslin in the 1960s have helped to minimize this damage, injecting a drug called ranibizumab can be more effective, according to results from a major clinical study by the Diabetes Retinopathy Clinical Research Network.
Long suspected of worsening artery damage in patients with diabetes, insulin instead protects blood vessels, a new study by Joslin scientists indicates.