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Type 1 diabetes is caused by disease of the pancreas whereby the cells do not produce enough insulin due to their destruction by the body's own immune system. The autoimmune process causes inflammation of the pancreas as the inflammatory cells infiltrate the organ and slowly destroy it. To date, the best method of detecting this condition, called insulinitis, is a pancreatic biopsy, a dangerous, invasive procedure, not often performed. A new form of non-invasive imaging is being proposed to detect this early transition to diabetes through injection of the patient with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) into the bloodstream, which shows up areas of inflammation via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Scientists are hoping that the investigation technique will allow for monitoring of insulinitis in its early stages and response to treatment, particularly regarding the use of immune therapy which is still in experimental stages.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Joslin Diabetes centre
About: New diagnostic technique for pre-diabetes
Date: 18 August 2005
Source: Joslin Diabetes centre
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