London: In a significant breakthrough, scientists have developed a nasal spray vaccine that could stop children from developing diabetes, a media report said Wednesday.
The spray can stop the body`s immune system from attacking insulin-producing cells, the express.co.uk reported.
Childhood diabetes, or type 1 diabetes, can shorten life and cause blindness, heart disease and kidney failure. Diabetes affects about 350,000 people in Britain, including 25,000 children under the age of 15, the report said.
The condition is incurable and sufferers require multiple daily insulin injections or pump infusions.
Australian researchers have found that the spray suppressed the immune response to insulin in 52 new type 1 diabetes patients, providing the first proof it works in people, the report said. The spray is not intended as a treatment for people who already have diabetes.
Immunologist professor Len Harrison, of Australia`s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and his team at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, are currently testing the spray on young people, the report said.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body`s immune system attacks and kills the beta cells that make and release insulin. Insulin, a vital hormone that moves glucose from the blood stream into the body`s cells, itself is a target of the immune attack that kills the beta cells.