Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It is the result of T-lymphocytes damaging the islet cells of the pancreas. The theory is that Type I diabetes results because some of the self-antigens in the pancreas were not presented to T lymphocytes very early in life. This happened because of abnormal educator immune cells. The lack of self-recognition is what causes the autoimmunity. The self antigens in Type 1 diabetes responsible for initiating autoimmunity are: Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), Insulinoma Associated 2 (IA 2) antigen, Insulin itself and other antigens.

Immunosuppressive drugs have been used to control this autoimmunity and preserve islet cell function. Drugs like cyclosporine have been given to newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetics in various clinical trials.

Why is immunosuppressive treatment for Type 1 diabetes not generally accepted as a useful form of treatment?

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