Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, “an international network of researchers who are exploring ways to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of Type 1 diabetes,” has expanded its reach by implementing an online sign-up process and nationwide testing for volunteers interested in participating.
TrialNet must screen more than 20,000 relatives of people with Type 1 diabetes each year to perform studies and collect data. Previously, family members needed to visit a study site or attend a screening event, but now, thanks to evolving technology that allows for more secure online registration, interested parties can answer a few questions at www.diabetestrialnet.org. Eligible volunteers will be sent a kit and directed to a local lab for a no-cost screening for antibodies associated with the development of Type 1.
Those who test positive for the antibodies (generally about three or four of every 100 participants) will be contacted by a TrialNet center to review the results and may be invited to have more blood tests at a study center or to join a study aimed at delaying or preventing the condition. Children under 18 who do not have the antibodies can be screened annually to see if their risk has changed.
People at risk for Type 1 who participated in TrialNet’s Pathway to Prevention Study were more likely to be diagnosed early. “For people with Type 1 diabetes, the importance of early diagnosis cannot be overstated,” noted NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, MD. “Early diagnosis means people are less likely to develop diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition. Early diagnosis also means people can often control their diabetes more quickly, which may slow the loss of insulin-producing cells and may delay complications.”
Other TrialNet studies have shown that various medicines slow the loss of insulin production in people who have just developed Type 1 diabetes.
For more information, and to take the preliminary online questionnaire, visit www.diabetestrialnet.org.
This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.