Explore how verapamil, a blood pressure treatment, may protect beta cells and slow type 1 diabetes progression in young people, offering an alternative to immunotherapies.
- Verapamil Protection: The medication slows type 1 diabetes progression in young people by protecting beta cells, offering an alternative to immunotherapies.
- Study Findings: Verapamil led to higher C-peptide levels, lower blood sugar, and less insulin needed compared to a placebo group.
- Future Research: Verapamil’s long-term safety and efficacy require further investigation to fully understand its potential in type 1 diabetes management.
Recent research funded by JDRF suggests that verapamil, a blood pressure treatment, can protect insulin-producing beta cells, slowing down the progression of type 1 diabetes in young people.
These findings introduce potential alternatives to immunotherapies, offering more patients a “softer landing” after their diagnosis.
“The results suggest that verapamil can play a role in keeping blood sugar levels more stable, by strengthening beta cells and slowing down their destruction, so the pancreas can carry on producing insulin for longer.” – JDRF-funded study.
How Verapamil Works To Protect Beta Cells
While immunotherapies have shown promise in reprogramming the immune system to slow down type 1 diabetes, researchers have also been exploring other ways to protect beta cells.
Verapamil, a drug used to treat high blood pressure, has been found to shield beta cells in some adults newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
It achieves this by turning off signals from a gene that tells beta cells to self-destruct when blood sugar levels are too high.
The Verapamil Study: Key Findings
In a JDRF-funded follow-up study, scientists investigated the effects of verapamil on type 1 diabetes in younger individuals.
The clinical trial included 88 children and young people aged 7-17 who were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
The participants were split into two groups, with one group receiving daily verapamil tablets for a year, and the other receiving a placebo.
The results showed that:
- The verapamil group had C-peptide levels 30% higher than the placebo group, indicating better protection of beta cells
- The verapamil group had lower average blood sugar levels and spent more time with their blood sugar levels within the target range
- The verapamil group required less insulin than the placebo group
The Future Of Verapamil In Type 1 Diabetes Management
These findings present verapamil as a potential alternative to immunotherapies for managing type 1 diabetes.
Since the drug is already used to treat other health conditions and is both affordable and easy to use, positive research outcomes could lead to faster progress and access to treatments that slow down the progression of type 1 diabetes.
However, further research is necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of verapamil for long-term use and to understand the duration of its protective effects.
In conclusion, recent JDRF-funded research has shown promising results for verapamil, a blood pressure treatment, in protecting insulin-producing beta cells and slowing down the progression of type 1 diabetes in young people.
The study’s findings suggest that verapamil could potentially serve as an alternative to immunotherapies, offering more patients a gentler transition after diagnosis.
As verapamil is already an affordable and easy-to-use treatment for other health conditions, its positive impact on type 1 diabetes management could lead to faster progress and access to treatments.
However, more research is needed to assess the long-term safety, efficacy, and duration of verapamil’s protective effects on beta cells.
Blood pressure drug can slow type 1 diabetes, research shows https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/blood-pressure-drug-can-slow-type-1-diabetes-research-shows