Can altering an enzyme in the brain bring the symptoms of a hypo back?

Scientific title: Dose an orally active, brain permeable AMPK activator improve hypoglycaemia counter regulation in a rat model of type 1 diabetes?
Principal Investigator: Dr Craig Beall
Institution: University of Exeter
Project duration: 03/01/2017 – 02/28/2018

Objective: Dr Beall and his team want to determine whether drugs targeting an enzyme called AMPK can be a viable treatment to bring back the symptoms of a hypo in type 1 diabetes.

People with type 1 who have hypo unawareness do not feel the symptoms of a hypo. Low blood glucose can be very dangerous, sometimes resulting in a coma. AMPK is an enzyme that that has been found to become active in the brain during hypoglycaemia. Past studies have shown that the more hypos a person experiences, the less sensitive AMPK becomes to low glucose levels.Craig Beall

The team is working with a pharmaceutical company called Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CA, USA) to determine whether a novel compound called R481 can alter the response to hypoglycaemia in healthy rats, and rats that have experimentally-induced type 1 diabetes.

If his team can show that increasing AMPK activity can increase hypo symptoms in diabetic rats, they can make the case for further research in humans. Dr Beall hopes that the chemical could one day be a treatment for people who have developed hypo unawareness.

Categories: Treat, Complications, Animal models, Partnerships