Researchers step closer to treating 'inflammatory' molecules behind diabetes, arthritis, strokes, heart disease

File: A researcher at CS/ECE wears a lab coat.
File: A researcher at CS/ECE wears a lab coat.

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Researchers at Cedars-Sinai have moved a step closer to better treatment of arthritis, diabetes and a number of other diseases caused in part by inflammation, and it all starts with a tiny molecule.

The new finding may help create medications that will stop our bodies from over-producing a molecule called “interluekin-1 beta.” That molecule is a contributor to Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, some strokes and heart disease.

Until now, treatment focused on blocking the molecule only after our bodies created it.

But Cedars-Sinai researchers say they now have a better understanding of how the body produces the molecule in the first place — an important step toward new medications that will stop the molecule’s production before it starts, leading to better treatment of inflammatory diseases that affect an estimated 100 million Americans.