What Triggers Diabetes?

Compelling new evidence suggests a viral infection could be the culprit

Scientists have plenty of evidence that people who develop the most severe form of diabetes harbor a genetic predisposition for the disease. But so far, they have not been able to pinpoint what triggers the deadly illness, in which the body's immune system destroys vital insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. One longstanding hypothesis got a big boost last week when researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh announced they had discovered compelling evidence that a virus is involved in Type I, or what used to be called juvenile diabetes. In their view, a viral infection causes the immune system to overreact and...

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