Researchers who have studied obesity and diabetes asked if both these diseases could be termed autoimmune diseases and announced today that Type 2 – diabetes can be termed autoimmune disease and it causes obesity. The human version of anti-CD20, called rituximab, is already FDA-approved to treat some blood cancers and autoimmune disorders. Which may lead to an interesting inquiry: Could this FDA – approved treatment for autoimmune disorders also treat some cases of obesity and all cases of Type 2-diabetes? Published in two articles in Nature medicine, one today and one earlier.
According to co-first author Daniel Winer, MD:
This work will change the way people think about obesity, and will likely impact medicine for years to come as physicians begin to switch their focus to immune-modulating treatments for type-2 diabetes.
Type-2 diabetes is characterized by the gradual development of insulin resistance, which affects the ability of the body to properly metabolize glucose. It’s associated with being overweight, but it can also have a genetic component. Despite the fact that millions of people have type-2 diabetes, the root cause of the insulin resistance is not known. In 2009, Daniel and Shawn Winer showed (also in Nature Medicine; subscription required) that T cells of the immune system were involved. Now they found that another immune cell, called a B cell, also plays an important role.
Stanford researchers, Dr Edgar Engelmann and colleagues redefine Type 2 – Diabetes today as an Autoimmune disease. Autism in children is higher in families and pregnant mothers with Autoimmune diseases. This connection too is being further researched by immunologists studying Autism today.
Since Dr. Paula Krakowiak, of University of California, Davis, published an article on a significant link between an obese pregnant mother and an Autistic child, the media is running with this information. However, what the media should also add is that no single factor alone appears to be linked to Autism but a combination of factors such as an older father or mother, new gene mutations , or diabetes which were not present in the grand parents but appear in the parents, accounting for about 70% of Autism Spectrum Disorder cases and of course, the vaccine connection debate, in addition to the Somali cases of Autism in Minnesotta (Vit D rather than obesity perhaps?) are various other factors which together or in combination with unknown environmental factors like herbicides perhaps cause Autism.
A pregnant mother preparing for her baby
Autoimmune disease and Autism: It might be timely to add that Dr Thayne Sweeten and colleagues have found that families with other Autoimmune diseases have higher cases of Autism. They strongly suggest that immune and autoimmune factors might play a role in causing Autism in a child.
Where the obese pregnant mothers diabetic: Now, you might ask: Did the pregnant obese mothers who produced an Autistic child have an autoimmune disease? The answer may very well be yes! If so, you may ask if that disease was Diabetes, becauses it causes a person to be obese. The answer may very well be yes! May be another autoimmune disease too like Rheumatoid Arthritis perhaps.
The reason I request you to ask this question about an autoimmune disease in the pregnant obese mother is because just today Stanford University researchers led by Dr Edgar Engelmann have announced in Nature Medicine that Type 2 – Diabetes is being redefined an autoimmune disease.
Naturally, this changes the direction of Diabetes research to what factor trigger the autoimmune reaction in patients to cause Type 2 – Diabetes. Also, are these the same factors that cause an Autistic child to be produced from an obese pregnant mother?
Thank you, blogger kristashealthylife for alerting us to the article linking obesity during pregnancy to Autism. It is why I wrote this article.