31.07.2019 change 31.07.2019

Polish research on type 1 diabetes prevention

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Polish doctors started research on the prevention of type 1 diabetes. The study will determine if oral insulin administration to children with genetic predisposition to develop this disease will protect them from diabetes.

The research is conducted by a team from the Paediatric Teaching Clinical Hospital of the University Clinical Centre of the Medical University of Warsaw (DSK UCK WUM) and the University Centre of Mother and Child`s Health in Warsaw (IMiD).

The project Oral insulin therapy for primary prevention of type 1 diabetes in infants with high genetic risk: GPPAD-POInT (global platform for the prevention of autoimmune diabetes primary oral insulin trial) is an international initiative, in which centres from England, Germany, Belgium and Sweden participate, the Medical University of Warsaw spokesperson Marta Wojtach informs in a press release.

Type 1 diabetes is one of the three most common autoimmune diseases in children. In its course, the body produces "overzealous" antibodies that are involved in the process of destroying own pancreatic cells that produce essential hormone: insulin. Research has shown that the immune system can be "trained" - taught to tolerate the cells of one`s body.

Increased infant insulin tolerance can prevent or delay the onset of phase I diabetes. In order to "train" the immune system, children with increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes in the screening test receive one teaspoon of powdered insulin per day for 3 years. Infant period is crucial for this intervention: the inclusion criterion for the screening test the age below 4 months.

"Our dream is a world without type 1 diabetes. We hope that our research will enable us to prevent or at least prolong the remission period. We have no doubt that this would be a milestone in the fight against type 1 diabetes" - says Dr. Agnieszka Szypowska, deputy head of Paediatric Diabetology and Paediatrics at Department of the Paediatric Teaching Clinical Hospital of the Medical University of Warsaw.

Fig. press materials of the Medical University of Warsaw

"We are very pleased with parents` great interest in the free screening of children. We have been able to screen nearly 27,000 newborns in Poland" - explains Dr. Mariusz Ołtarzewski from the Department of Metabolic Screening and Diagnostics of the University Centre of Mother and Child`s Health in Warsaw.

The two are the lead investigators in the Polish centres participating in the study.

Patients participate in the study free of charge; the study is sponsored by the charitable foundation Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Detailed information about the study is available on the website.

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