Korean scientists discovered that fat under the eyelids which was previously discarded after double eyelid surgery contains abundant amounts of neural stem cells, that may hold the ability to cure diabetes, the disease which has been identified as a slow killer.
The research team lead by professor Kim Hae-Kwon of Seoul Women’s University, have able to manipulated this multipotent stem cells retrieved from human eyelid fat to specifically secrete insulin.
According to Professor Kim, there have been numerous cases where scientists have used human neural stem cells to cure diabetic mice, but those studies were different from his in that the injected stem cells only helped boost pancreatic cells rather than insulin secretion.
Kim and his team transplanted these cells into diabetic mice and found that half of the test subjects maintained normal blood sugar levels and made complete recoveries.
Researchers believed that this groundbreaking study is a potential breakthrough in Type I diabetes treatment, where the body does not produce insulin.
The idea behind the transplant is simple. In type, I diabetes, the patient’s own immune system turns on the beta cells that produce insulin, the hormone that breaks down the glucose we eat in food. Eventually, the immune cells will virtually eliminate all of the body’s beta cells, and glucose levels will start to climb. Researchers believe that the trigger for this attack lies somewhere within the immune cells, so one possible treatment for the disease may be to wipe out the entire existing immune system and replace it with a fresh one, derived from stem cells without this destructive trait.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes increases your risk for many serious complications. Some complications of type 1 diabetes include heart disease (cardiovascular disease), blindness (retinopathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), and kidney damage (nephropathy). Learn more about these complications and how to cope with them.