Type 1 Virus Theory Takes a Hit
Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genes and environment, but the specifics remain unknown. One popular theory is that a viral infection spurs the immune system into battle with the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, leading to type 1. Alas, a study found no evidence of a link between viral infections and the development of type 1 diabetes in children. Researchers tested the blood of 28 children around the time they developed type 1 diabetes and compared the samples to those from kids without diabetes, looking for evidence of increased infection rates in children with type 1. They found no such evidence. The researchers plan, however, to follow up on data from a larger sample showing kids with type 1 had fewer fevers than those without the disease. This suggests that their immune response to infection may not be as strong as the response is in children who don't develop diabetes.
Source: Diabetologia, published online May 6, 2013