WUFT News

UF study finds link between pancreas size and Type 1 diabetes

By on December 12th, 2012

Although it’s still not known what causes Type 1 diabetes, people at risk for the disease may have smaller pancreases than those not at risk, a University of Florida study found.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that happens when the body attacks its own beta cells, which are found in the pancreas. Beta cells are necessary to produce insulin the body needs to convert sugar to energy.

This is the first time smaller pancreas size has been linked to Type 1 diabetes, said Martha Campbell-Thompson, a pathology professor at UF. Campbell-Thompson is also the director of a human pancreas biorepository housed within the UF Diabetes Center of Excellence.

“It implies that if there’s a smaller pancreas, there may be a smaller number, a fewer number of insulin-producing beta cells,” she said. “Those cells produce the insulin that people need in order to process their glucose. And the lack of those beta cells is what causes diabetes.”

The study, which was published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined 164 pancreases from adult organ donors, including those with auto-antibodies linked to an increased risk for Type 1 diabetes.

When compared with control samples, the researchers noted that the people at risk for Type 1 diabetes had pancreases about three-fourths the weight of those of patients not at risk for the disease.

Patients with Type 1 diabetes had pancreases about half the weight of control samples.

The results of the study stress the need to look much earlier in people who are at risk for Type 1 diabetes and see how to boost their beta cells, Campbell-Thompson said.

Ultimately, researchers hope to better understand how the pancreas works, how to improve diabetes treatment and how to prevent diabetes, she said.

Hana Engroff wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Health and Science, University of Florida and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

Jeannine Cawthon, a Gainesville native, paints the body of a PET cart on Thursday morning.

Cart Program Gives Rural Disabled New Opportunities

A volunteer workshop outside Jacksonville produces carts for disabled members of rural communities overseas. Designed for those with little to no use of their legs, the carts are propelled by hand-powered handles.


Dr. Ellen Zimmerman, 58, is a gastro neurologist at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida and a professor at the UF College of Medicine.  In her opinion, not the opinion of the university, medical marijuana has quite a few risk factors for patients with Crohn’s Disease, giving rise to her vote of “no” on the failed Amendment 2.

Crohn’s Disease Patient Still Looking For Answers After Amendment 2 Fails

Amendment 2 failed in Florida by a narrow margin, resulting in outrage from the bill’s supporters. A student who suffers from Crohn’s disease gives his perspective on the use of marijuana for medical purposes in the wake of continued debate.


The Alachua County Fire Rescue upgraded  the wireless routers in its ambulances. The ACFR received a grant of $41,200 from both UF Health Shands Hospital and North Florida Regional Medical Center to afford the update.

Alachua Fire Rescue Upgrades Ambulance Routers for Enhanced Patient Care

With help from area hospitals, Alachua County Fire Rescue has upgraded the wireless routers inside their ambulances, which transmit patient information to the hospital prior to their arrival.


CDC Creates Stricter Guidelines For Treatment Of Ebola Patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created stricter guidelines for the treatment of Ebola patients. The new guidelines address training and hands-on experience, preventing skin exposure, and strict observation of putting on and taking off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).


Hydrocodone has been moved to a stricter schedule II drug from a schedule III, making it more difficult to obtain for prescribed patients.

Hydrocodone Now More Difficult to Obtain for Prescribed Users

The Drug Enforcement Agency is tightening restrictions on oxycodone, making it more difficult for prescribed patients to obtain refills for their prescriptions.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments