NNUH diabetes team joins multinational study

Norfolk has an above average incidence of Type 1 Diabetes and the number of children in the county being diagnosed with the condition has doubled over the past 15 years.

And now clinical researchers lead by Dr. Nicoletta Dozio, consultant diabetologist at the Elsie Bertram Diabetes Centre, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, have joined a leading multinational study looking at the causes of Type 1 Diabetes and at developing preventative treatments for those who may be at risk of developing the condition.

The Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet programme has centres in the USA, Canada, Finland, UK, Italy, Germany, Australia and New Zealand and is looking at relatives of people with Type 1 Diabetes who are at greater risk of developing the disease.

Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the immune system of the body attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The disease tends to occur in childhood and makes up 20 per cent of all diabetes (the other 80 per cent is Type 2 Diabetes which tends to develop in later adulthood).

The research is being undertaken to learn more about what causes Type 1 Diabetes and to find out what might predict its development. The study provides monitoring to individuals “at risk” for developing Type 1 Diabetes. Individuals at greater risk may be offered an opportunity to take part in a prevention study.

TrialNet is screening relatives of people with Type 1 Diabetes to find out if those family members are “at risk” for developing Type 1 Diabetes. Screening involves a simple blood test to look for diabetes-related autoantibodies that may appear years before the condition develops.

Relatives of people with Type 1 Diabetes have about a three to five per cent chance of having autoantibodies in their blood associated with Type 1 Diabetes.

The diabetes research team at NNUH are looking to recruit the following type of local people to the study:

• Aged up to 45 AND have a parent, child, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes
• Aged up to 20 years old AND have a niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, grandparent, half-sibling or cousin with type 1 diabetes

Consultant paediatrician Dr Nandu Thalange said: “We are very pleased to be one of only four UK centres taking part in the multinational TrialNet study and this is an important opportunity for relatives of local people with Type 1 Diabetes to help us understand more about the condition, its development and even how it might be prevented in the future.”

For more information about joining the Norwich TrialNet study contact diabetes research nurse Tracey Gray, Clinical Research and Trials Unit, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY, tel 01603 288413 or 01603 288570 or email tracey.gray@nnuh.nhs.uk

Monday 17th of September 2007 10:00:50 AM