Northampton man with type 1 diabetes who stopped injecting says he has rare gene

Jack Woodfield
Fri, 09 Jun 2017
Northampton man with type 1 diabetes who stopped injecting says he has rare gene
A British man with type 1 diabetes who travelled to America for tests after he came off insulin has been told he has a 'rare gene'.

Daniel Darkes, from Daventry in Northampton, received tests in March to understand why he was able to cease his insulin treatment.

Doctors wanted to understand what had happened to Mr Darkes’ body. Having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seven years ago, the 30-year-old stopped injecting earlier this year after tests showed his blood glucose levels had returned to a normal state.

Mr Darkes, known as "Miracle Dan" to his friends, returned to Northampton where his results have since been analysed; he has also been visiting Northampton General Hospital every week for the last two months.

He told the Daventry Express: "My tests indicated that doctors found a rare gene in my results and that has acted as a 'backup' immune system. This has led to insulin being reproduced in my pancreas.

"The gene has basically recharged my immune system and pancreas, kicking into action beta cells which have [been] dormant for the time I have had type 1 diabetes.

"The consultants haven’t ruled out the possibility that […] staying active and running was the trauma or shock which triggered the healing process."

Prior to the tests scientists attributed the probability of Mr Darkes’ miraculous recovery being genuine at 80 per cent. They considered his recovery could have been caused by a signal sent from Mr Darkes’ brain to his pancreas.

Since then the diabetes community has been waiting to learn the reasons behind Mr Darkes’ ability to come off insulin. It is hoped the findings, when published in full, could provide a revolutionary new approach to treating type 1 diabetes.

"I am still off insulin and have been now for seven months," added Mr Darkes. "I am still doing my running and am currently training for an ultra marathon."
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