Disease looks similar to type 1 in humans, but with important differences
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Like many other animals, man’s best friend isn’t immune to developing diabetes. But new research suggests that while the disease in dogs looks similar to type 1 diabetes in people, there are some significant differences between man and beast.
“Dogs get diabetes at a pretty significant rate, about the same rate that humans get type 1 diabetes. But, they get it later in life,” explained study senior author Dr. Jake Kushner, chief of pediatric diabetes and endocrinology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, the researchers were able to look at pancreas tissue from 23 dogs with diabetes and 17 dogs without the disease. The pancreas is an organ that contains cells called islet cells. Those cells contain beta cells that produce the hormone insulin, which is necessary for turning the sugars in foods into fuel for the body.
Like humans with type 1 diabetes, dogs develop diabetes after a dramatic loss of beta cells. Without a significant number of beta cells, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. That insulin must be replaced through injections.
But the researchers found some key differences when they dug deeper. [Read the full article…]