New research suggests that the brain plays a key role in the regulation of glucose and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Up to now the emphasis in research has been focused on insulin which was discovered in the 1920’s with most current treatments looking to increase insulin levels or the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
While treatment drugs address the consequences of diabetes they are not targeted at the underlying causes and so control rather than cure the disease.
New research in the journal Nature suggests that a partnership between insulin producing cells and circuits in the brain is what maintains normal glucose levels
The researchers argue that the development of diabests requires a failure of both the insulin producing cells and the brain centred regulatory system.
They suggest a two system approach targeting both of these areas.
They say that boosting insulin levels alone only addresses half the problem.
“To restore normal glucose regulation requires addressing the failures of the brain-centered system as well. Approaches that target both systems may not only achieve better blood glucose control, but could actually cause diabetes to go into remission” they write.