Diabetes syndrome characterization


Diabetes syndrome characterization

Diabetes is a syndrome characterized by an absolute or relative β-cell deficiency in terms of mass (Type 1 diabetes mellitus, T1DM) or function (Type 2 diabetes mellitus, T2DM). Both of these conditions result in an impaired glucose homeostasis.

Diabetes has reached pandemic levels, afflicting over 300 million people worldwide with a cost of care estimated around $176 billion/year in the United States alone. Furthermore, the costs resulting from chronic diabetes-related complications like cardio-vascular disease, nephropathy and retinopathy, are growing exponentially.

The present standard cure for treating patients with T1DM consists of daily exogenous insulin injections, whereas physical exercise, specific diet, and oral hypoglycaemic treatment are the first line of treatments for T2DM. However, exogenous insulin remains a suboptimal treatment, and is far from reaching an adequate regulation of native β cells. It has been estimated that fewer than 40% of patients are able to reach and maintain a euglycemia state over a life-long insulin regimen.

Therefore, while insulin therapy can maintain acceptable glycaemic levels and reduce diabetes-related complications, it is not a cure: the only real way to definitively treat diabetes is to restore the beta cell mass or the lost functionality of those cells.

Whole-pancreas transplantation has become the gold standard treatment to restore durable glycemic control and improve patient survival. However, as it is a major surgical intervention and requires life-long immunosuppression, this procedure is only proposed to selected patients, and is severely limited by organ shortage

Media Contact

Editorial Assistant
Pancreatic Disorder and Therapy