Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Intl. History

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International was founded about 40 years ago. The organization was created with a single mission in mind and that mission was to find a cure for type I juvenile diabetes and the associated complications that arise from the condition. While a comprehensive cure has not yet been found for the condition, there have been various milestones that the organization has achieved. Today there are better treatment options for those suffering from juvenile diabetes than there were before.

Newer technologies like the insulin pump, continuous glucose monitors and others have been discovered and are being circulated among the public. The doctors at JDRF pioneered a surgical treatment to treat the progression of eye diseases related to diabetes. This technique was called vitrectomy and was first used in the 1970s. In the same decade hormones that could change the effect of insulin in a positive manner were discovered, an understanding of the "tumor angiogenesis factor" was obtained and the test to measure long term blood sugar levels hemoglobin A1c was developed. The last was a great breakthrough because it helped doctors understand the manner in which blood sugar was being controlled.

In the decade of the 1980s JDRF developed genetically engineered insulin for the first time. An experimental insulin pump was also invented. Preventive work in the area of diabetes was possible post an understanding of the relationship between diabetic eye disease and pregnancy. It was also recognized that blood sugar control was the key to managing fetal development.

In the 1990s, a prototype drug, aminoguandine, was discovered to be effective in keeping glucose from blocking blood vessels. This was also the decade when the success rate of pancreatic transplants increased immensely. Islet transplantation became a major priority at this stage. A Human Islet Distribution Program was also established to meet the increasing demand for insulin producing cells. A lot of milestones were achieved in the 2000s too, with clinical trials showing that using a drug called anti-CD3 antibody could hold off the progression of the condition among newly diagnosed patients.


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