These slides are from the April 24, 2013 "Insulin Independence" summit at the Canon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The event previewed the future of combination therapies to restore insulin production to people living with type 1 diabetes.
Something remarkable happens when some women with type 1 diabetes become pregnant: they start producing completely normal levels of insulin.
You read that correctly: one third of pregnant women, including those who’ve had it for 20 years or more, have reduced insulin needs during pregnancy. Some need no injected insulin at all. This knowledge may soon help everyone living with type 1 diabetes. How is this possible?
Two special things happen during pregnancy. First, the body relaxes the immune system to prevent it from harming the fetus. Second, it floods the body with hormones that promote growth. This causes something that researchers long thought was impossible: brand new islet cells start forming and producing insulin.
The combination therapy approach looks to mimic this effect and transform the treatment of diabetes.