Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 02, 2012

Sources

C. Ronald Kahn, MD - President / Director, Joslin Diabetes Center; Mary K Iacocca Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. His discoveries in insulin signals/receptors revolutionized diabetes research.

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Video Transcript

Narrator: What's the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. President and Director, Joslin Diabetes Center: Type 1 diabetes is the form of diabetes we used to call juvenile onset, it's the insulin dependant form, usually younger people develop it, and usually these people require insulin for treatment from the very beginning. In fact, if a type one diabetic doesn't have their insulin for a long period of time, it's really impossible for them to survive.

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. (cont.): Type-two diabetes, on the other hand, is a form of diabetes which more often occurs in adults. Usually, often older adults although it can occur even in children now, and that type of diabetes we sometimes treat with insulin. But we call it non-insulin dependant because there are other forms of treatment that often work in people with type-two diabetes.

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. (cont.): So we have this distinction, one is insulin dependant. And it really is, you can't really do with out it. The other is non-insulin dependant but some people with type two will still take insulin as part of their treatment.