Narrator: This is Science Today. In Type 1 or juvenile diabetes, the immune system turns on the body it is supposed to protect and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Juvenile diabetes affects one million people nationwide, and once it's taken hold there's not much doctors can do besides regulate insulin levels. But Jeffrey Bluestone of the University of California, San Francisco, has developed a new drug that in clinical trials made a dramatic impact on patients who are still in the early stages of the disease.
Bluestone: One can take individuals who are already experiencing a lot of destruction of their insulin producing cells and block that or prevent further destruction by just halting the immune system from doing it.
Narrator: Bluestone says this potential ability to prevent the disease from progressing is significant.
Bluestone: The longer you can continue to produce any of your own insulin, even it's only a small percent, the less likely you are to get the complications of the disease later on in life.Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.