Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Reduces Diabetes Onset
DRI researchers report hyperbaric oxgen therapy (HOT) prevented the onset of autoimmune diabetes in nearly 50 percent of mice involved in a recent study compared to mice not receiving HOT.
HOT has been used for decades to deliver pressurized oxygen to scuba divers who suffer complications after being underwater. It is a remarkably simple, non-invasive therapy with virtually no side-effects that is showing early signs of promise in diabetes research. In research studies conducted by DRI scientists, non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice that received hyperbaric oxygen therapy were 50 percent less likely to develop autoimmune diabetes than those without HOT.
NOD mice are an ideal experimental model; they develop type 1 diabetes spontaneously and share many of the characteristics of type 1 diabetes in humans. The study data showed such potential that our researchers presented the findings to the 69th Scientific Sessions meeting in New Orleans.
The characteristics of HOT make it a suitable candidate for further exploration of its possible clinical applications. Clinical trials are currently underway at the Diabetes Research Institute where patients are being given a combination of oxygen treatments along with infusions of their own bone-marrow derived stem cells.
The hope is that the combined treatments will cause the pancreas to either recover or function well enough to allow patients to significantly decrease or stop their medications. Similar trials will take place in Europe, Asia and Latin America as part of the collaborative efforts of the DRI Federation.
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