News / 

Old Drug Found to Help Infant Diabetics

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

EXETER, England, Apr 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A 40-year-old drug thought to be dangerous for newborns with diabetes has been determined to be exactly what they needed, The Telegraph reported Friday.

The discovery was made in Brazil accidentally 40 years when doctors had no insulin for a newborn. At that time, the drugs were beginning to be used to treat adult (type 2) diabetes, so doctors prescribed the boy the drugs in desperation.

The child responded, and is now 46 years old.

Now, the underlying cause of about one third of the cases of such neonatal diabetes has been discovered by an international team, including scientists in Exeter's Peninsula Medical School in England and the University of Oxford.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that mutations in a gene called Kir6.2 are a common cause of the disease, and accordingly, why sulphonylurea drugs work.

Dr. Anna Gloyn of Peninsula Medical School, the lead author, said, "It is a very exciting finding that has resulted in the real possibility of stopping insulin injections."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast