A new nasal spray vaccine that has been developed by scientists in Australia could help patients suffering from type 1 diabetes better manage their condition.
The year-long study of 52 type 1 diabetes patients who had recently been diagnosed, published in the journal Diabetes, showed that the nasal spray was able to suppress the immune response to insulin. The patients were offered either the nasal insulin vaccine or a placebo to be taken each week for the length of the study.
It is hoped the vaccine will prevent kids from developing this type of diabetes, known as childhood diabetes, a chronic, life-threatening condition. However, it was noted that the nasal spray was not an effective treatment for those patients who have already developed the condition, which can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.
Researcher Len Harrison commented “The results showed that the vaccine allowed the immune system to restore immune tolerance to insulin .”
A spokesperson for the charity Diabetes UK also stated “Despite being a small trial, results showed that more than half of participants did not progress onto insulin therapy. This is a potentially interesting development although it is very early to be clear how significant it will be.”

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