Detecting Type 1 Risk Earlier
Research news from the American Diabetes Association 72nd Scientific Sessions
June 8–12, 2012 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A new test may help doctors identify people at high risk for type 1 diabetes and predict at what age the disease will develop. In the years before the onset of type 1, blood tests can often spot diabetes autoantibodies, evidence that the immune system is attacking the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. The new test found autoantibodies well before older tests did in about a quarter of the 63 children studied. That allowed researchers to detect the beginnings of type 1 an average of 2.6 years earlier than the older methods allowed. Advance detection may help researchers identify triggers for the development of type 1 and, once treatment options become available, intervene in high-risk people as early as possible.