Can type 1 diabetes be prevented? You can help answer this question by participating in the NIH TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Research Study For Relatives of People With Type 1 Diabetes. “It is one of the most important studies in TrialNet,” said Ellen Greenberg, the lead research coordinator for type 1 diabetes clinical trials at the Berrie Center. “Not only are we going to learn about the evolution of the disease, but we’re identifying children and adults who are at risk for type 1 diabetes.”
Relatives of people with type 1 diabetes have about a 15 times greater risk of developing the disease than people with no family history of type 1 diabetes. People can get screened if they have a brother, sister, child or parent with type 1 diabetes (and are between 1 and 45 years old) or are a cousin, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, half-brother or half-sister of someone with type 1 diabetes (and are 1 to 20 years old).
A small sample of blood is drawn and tested for pancreatic auto-antibodies, or markers that show the autoimmune process has already begun. About 95 per cent of relatives who are screened test negative for these auto-antibodies. Subjects younger than 18 years old should be re-tested yearly until they are 18. “People who have positive antibodies can participate in the very promising diabetes prevention trials that are being done at the Berrie Center under the auspices of NIH TrialNet,” says Ellen.
Relatives of people with type 1 diabetes can undergo the TrialNet screening test at the Berrie Center or have the blood test done at a doctor’s office or laboratory close to their home, if coming to the Berrie Center is not convenient.
To arrange a TrialNet Pathways to Prevention screening, please call Liz at 212-851-5466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.