Published September 23, 2013
A drug used to treat psoriasis may also be able to help treat people with type 1 diabetes, BBC News reported.
In a study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, 33 patients with type 1 diabetes received weekly injections of the psoriasis drug alefacept for 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week break in treatment. After the hiatus, the patients then underwent another 12 weeks of injections. A second group of patients received placebo injections over the same period of time.
Patients with diabetes typically experience insulin deficiencies and are unable to regulate their blood sugar. However, researchers discovered that when patients were treated with alefacept, they were better able to preserve insulin levels, compared to the placebo group.
Overall, the group treated with the drug saw fewer episodes of hypoglycemia and low blood glucose levels over their treatment period.
While the drug does not represent a cure for diabetes, it could be used to, “stabilize type 1 diabetes and prevent its progression,” lead researcher Mark Rigby, a professor at Indiana University, said.