Type 2 diabetes

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Allegheny Health Network researchers are trying to find out how a drug created for people with a breathing disease can help those with Type 2 diabetes.

“Type 2 diabetes is a consequence of taking in too much energy and not distributing enough,” said Nick Gianoukakis, associate professor for biological sciences and immunology at AHN. “As we eat, we store energy. That becomes fat, and fat is a condition that results in the body’s immune system being sensitized and becoming active. So we create a state of inflammation inside our bodies.”

The longest study of the link between obesity among Type 2 diabetes patients and cardiovascular disease recently wrapped up, and it found that among the 5,145 participants, losing weight did not improve their chances of having hospital stays due to things like chest pain and heart attacks. 

However, researchers warn there is much more to the study once you start to dig a little deeper.

A researcher at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh is hoping to slow the progression of Type 2 diabetes by treating children before they get sick. The hospital will serve as one of six sites in a study that looks to be more proactive in the treatment of the illness.

“Give them medications to see if we can rest the pancreas and preserve the beta cell function and prevent the progression to full-blown or severe diabetes,” said principal investigator and University of Pittsburgh Pediatric Endocrinologist Silva Arslanian.