Viral Infection May Trigger Childhood Diabetes in Utero

The incidence of type 1 childhood diabetes has been increasing rapidly
worldwide. If blood sugar levels aren't well-controlled, juvenile
diabetes can affect nearly every organ of a child's body. And while
long-term complications of the disease develop gradually, they may
become disabling and even life-threatening. The exact cause of juvenile
diabetes has eluded scientists, but a new study from Tel Aviv University suggests a likely trigger before birth.

In a recent paper published in Diabetic Medicine, Prof. Zvi Laron, Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology at TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine,
Director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit at Schneider
Children's Medical Center of Israel, and Head of the WHO Collaborating
Center for the Study of Diabetes in Youth, puts forth evidence that the
autoimmune disease is initiated in utero. According to the
research, conducted in collaboration with an international team of
researchers, women who contract a viral infection during pregnancy
transmit viruses to their genetically susceptible fetuses, sparking the
development of type 1 diabetes.

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