Scientists funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) have shown for the first time that transplanting light-sensitive photoreceptors into the eyes of visually impaired mice can restore their vision. The research, published in Nature, suggests that transplanting photoreceptors - light-sensitive nerve cells that line the back of the eye - could form the basis of a new treatment to restore sight in people with degenerative eye diseases. Scientists from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology injected cells from young healthy mice directly into the retinas of adult mice that lacked functional rod-photoreceptors. Loss of photoreceptors is the cause of blindness in many human eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetes-related blindness. There are two types of photoreceptor in the eye - rods and cones.
A new joint study by Group Health Research Institute and Bastyr University Research Institute found that type 2 diabetes patients who received naturopathic care (as an adjunct to conventional care) had lower blood-sugar levels, better eating and exercise habits, improved moods, and a stronger sense of control over their condition than did patients receiving only conventional care. The findings, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, show that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may have several positive effects on people with type 2 diabetes, which affects nearly 26 million Americans. "The news is encouraging for those fighting the disease, " said Ryan Bradley, ND, MPH, director of the Center for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Wellness at Bastyr University and its clinic, the Bastyr Center for Natural Health.
Autologous (self-donated) mononuclear cells derived from bone marrow (BMMNCs) have been found to significantly induce vascular growth when transplanted into patients with diabetes who are suffering from critical limb ischemia caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), a complication of diabetes. The team of researchers in Seville, Spain who carried out the study published their results in a recent issue of Cell Transplantation (20:10), now freely available on-line.* "Critical limb ischemia in diabetic patients is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality; however, neovascularization induced by stem cell therapy could be a useful approach for these patients, " said study corresponding author Dr. Bernat Soria of the Andaluz Center for Biologic and Molecular Regenerative Medicine in Seville, Spain.
Can lack of sleep make you fat? A new paper which reviews the evidence from sleep restriction studies reveals that inadequate sleep is linked to obesity. The research, published in a special issue of the The American Journal of Human Biology, explores how lack of sleep can impact appetite regulation, impair glucose metabolism and increase blood pressure. "Obesity develops when energy intake is greater than expenditure. Diet and physical activity play an important part in this, but an additional factor may be inadequate sleep, " said Dr Kristen Knutson, from the University of Chicago. "A review of the evidence shows how short or poor quality sleep is linked to increased risk of obesity by de-regulating appetite, leading to increased energy consumption." Dr Knutson accumulated evidence from experimental and observational studies of sleep.
A major 12-year study based on a Taiwanese population cohort has demonstrated that not only does diabetes increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease more than 2-fold, the use of sulfonylureas, commonly used as treatment for diabetes, increases the risk further by about 57%. This study also found that by including metformin in the therapy, no increased risk in developing Parkinson's disease was recorded. Metformin, found in the French lilac, Galega officinalis, was originally used in traditional European medicine, and introduced into France and Britain in the 1950s for the treatment of diabetes. It has a long and relatively safe record, is off patent and relatively inexpensive. Professor Mark Wahlqvist, lead author of the study commented, "An exciting aspect of the finding is that metformin seems to be working to protect the brain against neurodegeneration which contributes to Parkinsonismin.