Diabetes Dream Device Wildcard
I am going to go off script to write a blog about a diabetes device I would like to see someday. This is one of the two wildcard offerings this week and one that captured my attention in part because of my own mania about inadvertently copying something someone else has written so a bit about the copying part first.
I have not read many blogs this week because as I worked on mine I started worrying I might inadvertently copy someone else’s blog. I say it is a mania because I am pretty fanatical about giving proper reference to prior written material. On the first couple of days I read several blogs and was very impressed and a little intimated by the other writers. In one or two cases I thought wow I need to up my game if I am to stay in this space. We have some magnificent writers, and I am just not one of them. So the next day I sat down and it was difficult to get my content completed. So I knew right then I had to stop reading other stuff and instead focus on my own. Otherwise, I might 1. Be paralyzed into stopping, and 2. I might do worse and inadvertently copy someone else and not give credit. Of the two it is better to stop than to commit academic fraud (a technical term for not giving credit where credit is due), so I stopped reading other blogs. In part because I stopped reading other work I made it this far for blog week. No fraud committed as far as I know. I do not know if you can commit fraud in the blogging world, but let’s say I was not taking any chances.
Ok, so today’s official prompt is ‘My Favorite Things - Sunday 5/18’ (Graffeo, 2014) would be a fun blog, had I read more blogs. But since I didn’t it is a little difficult to write on that topic. Therefore I will take the alternative topic and hope you will not mind reading one out of sequence blog.
I have a specific diabetic dream device. Sort of (I mean it is not really a device) but an idea that might be closer than we think. My dream device is that I hope someday Type 1 diabetes will be stamped out using a vaccine. My thought is that the autoimmune system is triggered to destroy beta cells because of an infection. When we get the infection it triggers an immune response and that immune response destroys the beta cells in the pancreas. Some people might think this is a little bit crazy and others might think it completely rational given their experience. I have thought this for years and have said in the past that I believe that when found it will be a common virus and that it may be difficult to vaccinate for, but it will be something to focus research on. I know crazy, right?
Well there is some fairly recent evidence that this concept is getting closer to being pronounced a truth not just a theory. In brief here is why, in the journal Science Daily an article was published identifying a type of virus that maybe responsible:
“Recently, considerable progress has been made in studies evaluating the possible role of one virus group, called enteroviruses, which have been connected with human type 1 diabetes in a variety of reports” (Academy of Finland, 2013). The article goes on to say:
“Although the association between type 1 diabetes and enteroviruses has been observed in various studies, until now it was not known which enterovirus types are most responsible for this effect. Now, for the first time, a group of collaborating investigators have published results from two studies in the leading scientific diabetes journal Diabetes identifying the enterovirus types which are associated with type 1 diabetes” (Academy of Finland, 2013).
The virus in question is “the group B coxsackieviruses” (Academy of Finland, 2013). It is thought that this virus actually targets the pancreas and along with genetic predisposition maybe the cause of type 1 diabetes. This opens up the incredible idea that someday a vaccine could be developed to prevent type 1 diabetes in those who are genetically predisposed to have the disease. Just so it is understood a successful vaccine might nearly stamp out the majority of active type 1 diabetes cases in the world in one hundred years or less. Yes those of us who have the disease will still have it. But my dream and no I do not think it is crazy to hope for it, is that Type 1 might be completely avoidable within 20 years of the production of the vaccine and could be removed from the plant in less and 100 years given that those of us who have it would likely have passed in 100 years.
So why is such a vaccine, my dream device? Because it was the long term dream of those who came before me and who suffered from this disease. See I do not believe I will ever be ‘cured’ and I do not participate in trails for myself. I believe in a cure and participate in trials to benefit my children and their children. So that is my dream device. From this and other articles; I believe we might be oh so close to fulfilling that dream. I hope you agree it could be the most significant scientific advancement to occur in diabetes management since the invention of insulin. If I ever see it, I will have considered my life well lived. I hope I see it someday.
Graffeo, Karen. (2014). 2014 Diabetes blog week topics & posts Retrieved from http://www.bittersweetdiabetes.com/p/2014-diabetes-blog-week-topics-posts.html
Academy of Finland. (2013). New evidence for role of specific virus causing type 1 diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 18, 2014 from