a virus could trigger the disease

a virus could trigger the disease
a virus could trigger the disease

This is a promising discovery. According to doctors at the Cochin hospital in Paris, a virus is the cause of type 1 diabetes. Remember that the two most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 2 is is diabetes that affects adults over 40 years of age, in general it is largely linked to being overweight, inactivity and poor diet. The pancreas then produces insulin that is of lower quality.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where your own immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is most often discovered in childhood or adolescence.

The virus responsible for this diabetescalled coxsackie B. It causes a common infection in children, giving rise to flu syndrome or symptoms of gastroenteritis. Researchers found that this virus was capable of directly attacking cells in the pancreas. When your pancreas no longer makes insulin, blood sugar levels rise and that’s when diabetes occurs. On the other hand, I want to reassure you: not all children who catch this virus will become diabetic.

A better understanding of diabetes and the hope of finding a vaccine

How can we explain that some children become diabetic after contracting this virus and others do not? Researchers were interested in the immune systems of sick children. They realized that these diabetic children had difficulty fighting this virus. The soldiers of immunity, the lymphocytes, cannot get rid of the virus and the infection becomes persistent and chronic.

The virus attacks the pancreas, this creates inflammation and the immune system considers this inflammation to be dangerous. In return, your own body produces antibodies to destroy your pancreas and that’s where diabetes happens.

This discovery is great news! We finally understand the mechanism behind type 1 diabetes. Thanks to this advance, researchers now have several treatment options. Trials are underway to try to boost the immune systems of these children. They thus succeeded in delaying the onset of diabetes by 2 to 3 years thanks to a medication.

In the long term, this discovery strengthens the hope of one day finding a vaccine against this virus. There is already a vaccine candidate, developed by an American company, which shows promising results in adults. But imagine the revolution: maybe tomorrow we will have a vaccine available to prevent children from becoming diabetic. I don’t know about you, but I find this truly incredible.

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