Brain Cells Injected into Pancreas May Cure Diabetes
“Scientists in Japan have shown that implanting brain cells into a rat pancreas was a successful treatment for diabetes – rat diabetes.
In humans, the disease affects nearly 26 million people in the United States, 200 million worldwide. It costs us about $174 billion per year (that figure from 2007, it has likely increased), and in that same year it was the seventh leading cause of death. So if the the results could be repeated in humans, that would obviously be amazing.
In a press release, the scientists suggest that exactly that is their goal.
Tomoko Kuwabars and his colleagues at AIST Institute in Tsukuba, Japan, extracted neural stem cells from the hippocampus of rats, then injected them directly into the animals’ pancreases. The rats, which had been engineered to exhibit symptoms of diabetes, showed lower blood sugar levels (a good thing, since diabetes can dangerously increase blood sugar levels) after the brain cell injection. The scientists tested their theory that the neuronal cells were pumping out insulin by removing them, after which blood sugar levels went back up.”