Entries by Fumihiko Urano

A message from a mother

I receive many emails, letters, and phone calls every day from patients with Wolfram syndrome and unusual forms of diabetes and their families and doctors. Many of these are related to their medical conditions and potential treatments. Some of these are personal. I received a message from a mother who had lost her daughter due […]

Drug development for Wolfram syndrome with NIH, NCATS

My visit to NIH, NCATS, with Stephanie Snow Gebel, Chairman of the Board of the Snow Foundation, was quite successful. We have had multiple discussions in the past two weeks and agreed to develop novel chemical compounds (i.e., drugs) for Wolfram syndrome. We will target the endoplasmic reticulum. This will be a three-way collaboration with […]

Tomorrow is already a day late

My major focus is to develop treatments and provide a cure for Wolfram syndrome. Because Wolfram is a prototype of ER stress-related disease, I am running projects related to other ER stress-related diseases, Type 1 diabetes and ALS, on the side because I can learn new things and come up with new ideas. I often […]

Renovation of an old drug

One of the exciting things that were offered during our visit to NIH, NCATS, was to renovate old drugs and make them more specific for Wolfram syndrome and other endoplasmic reticulum-related diseases. We have identified three FDA-approved drugs that can potentially delay the progression of Wolfram syndrome. These drugs were originally designed and indicated for […]

Our visit to NIH was fruitful

Stephanie Snow Gebel, the founder of the Snow Foundation, and I visited NIH, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, yesterday. Our visit to NIH was quite fruitful. I learned a lot about the NIH’s efforts on developing novel treatments for rare diseases. I met with Dr. Christopher Austin’s team and discussed our potential collaboration on […]

Brain Functions and Medication

Patients with Wolfram syndrome face multiple challenges in addition to diabetes. That’s why I always feel that Wolfram is the most difficult form of diabetes. Mood swings, anxiety, and depression are commonly seen. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying these symptoms are not clear, we assume that these are related to the dysregulation of neurotransmitter secretion. […]

Stem cell-based therapy Q & A – Medical Use

Here are two other questions I often get. Q: How can we use stem cells for the treatment of Wolfram syndrome and Type 1 diabetes. A: Stem cells can differentiate into specific cell types including insulin-producing cells, retinal cells, and brain cells.  The most important function of stem cells, especially induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), […]

Wolfram Syndrome Q&A

I receive many questions related to Wolfram syndrome and other medical conditions. Here are some of them. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Q: What is diabetes insipidus? A: Diabetes insipidus is one of the common symptoms in patients with Wolfram syndrome. It is defined as the passage of large […]


I was watching the video that our friend and patient, Alejandro, was doing an ice bucket challenge. This project originally started for ALS. So I was checking the ALS-related websites and found the following youtube video. As most of you know, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease, leading to the progressive degeneration of […]