Can Incretin Mimetics Improve Beta Cell Dysfunction

By Mackenzi Nelson, DPM, and John S. Steinberg, DPM

      Since the discovery of diabetes, researchers have worked diligently to extend the life expectancy of those affected by diabetes. From the advent of insulin in 1921 until the present day, advances in medical management have had a very significant impact on life expectancy and glycemic control in this population.1 Helpful treatments ranging from diet and exercise to oral drug therapy and exogenous insulin have steady advances in the treatment of this patient population.       Medications that are currently available for the management of blood glucose levels include sulfonylureas, biguanides, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides, D-phenylalanine derivatives, amylin synthetic derivatives and insulin. Each category of drug therapy works differently but the therapies primarily function to improve blood sugar control without directly improving beta cell function in the pancreas.2 Now a new class of pharmaceuticals has emerged which may be able to do both.

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