Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people in the United States, but also all around the world. With different types of diabetes that exist, it has been hard for researchers to find a cure for diabetes. Current diabetes treatments are expensive, and not always available for patients around the world. Researchers have tried to understand how insulin, Islets of Langerhans and diabetes functions in order to try to find more efficient treatments and possibly a cure in the future. Islet B-cells are found in the pancreas and produce the hormone insulin. In patients with Type 1 diabetes, islet B-cells don’t function correctly, leading to very little or no insulin being produced. This is obviously an issue, if B-cells don’t produce insulin, glucose cannot be. With this knowledge, researchers have explored a way to possibly use transplanted b-cell islets from donor cadavers to help type 1 diabetic patients whom are typically insulin dependent, become insulin independent. Islet transplantation has been explored in many countries. Being a new, experimental procedure many doctors are skeptical about this new treatment. Some patients seeing good results, gives hope that with future research and more trials performed that this can be an effective treatment for diabetes. Although this new treatment seems exciting and ground breaking for type 1 diabetic patients, it still hasn’t been found to work as well as insulin. There’s a fair chance that with further research there will be treatments that work as effective or even more than insulin, but for now, insulin dependent patients will have to continue to use insulin as their main treatments.
Estrada, Maria, "Treatments, Islet Transplantation and Beta Cell Research" (2019). BIO 410 Spring 2019 Research Papers. 6.