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[Perspectives] Type 1 diabetes

Writing in 1649, the English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper despaired of his patients with diabetes: their “continual pissinge” was resistant to all treatment, and their deaths were rapid and certain. No longer: type 1 diabetes is a striking example of the transformation of the meaning of a diagnosis by application of clinical research. Its history reflects the trajectory of medicine away from heroic interventions and towards long-term treatment, from cure to care.