In this health video learn how an insulin pill could help delay the onset of type 1 diabetes - or prevent it altogether.
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Jennifer Matthews: Look quick. It's Patrick, Andrew, Nicholas, Sam, Sarah, Oliver, Annie, and Maggie. Add mom and dad and the ten of them make up the Gould family. Ellen Gould: It's really fun. Jennifer Matthews: But it can also be hard work. Ellen Gould: Did you test again Patrick? Jennifer Matthews: Especially since three of the kids have type 1 diabetes. If blood sugars aren't carefully controlled, the disease can lead to blindness, kidney failure, even amputations. Dave Gould: There's no vacation in diabetes. It's not like we can take a day off, or a week off, or anything like that. Jennifer Matthews: The Gould's recently found out three-year-old Oliver is also at risk for developing the disease. Dr. William Russell is leading a study to prevent diabetes in kids. Dr. William Russell: We can actually measure things in the blood that will give a very good indication if somebody is on the road to developing diabetes or not. Jennifer Matthews: Then, those at risk patients are given insulin pills. The idea, the pill re-programs immune cells to become more tolerant to the insulin that the body attacks. Dr. William Russell: There's a lot of preliminary data to back it up. Jennifer Matthews: In animals, the pills actually prevented mice from developing the disease, and in humans, they delayed it by almost five years -- giving kids like Oliver more time to develop and become mature enough to take care of themselves. Dr. William Russell: This would be a very important breakthrough if we could, starting out small delay it, and ultimately preventing it would be miraculous. Jennifer Matthews: Ellen agrees. Ellen Gould: To give him the chance to not have to deal with diabetes, and not have that hanging over him would just be amazing. Jennifer Matthews: For now, they'll take one day at a time, and pray the future will be a healthy one for the whole family. This is Jennifer Matthews is reporting.