Scientists at Georgia Health Sciences University in the United States have found that low levels of the protein interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (or IL-1ra) may be able to predict a heightened risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children .
The researchers hope that identifying children with genes that put them at risk of type 1 diabetes at an early stage will offer the chance to carry out treatment that might prevent them developing the full metabolic condition . It is claimed that lower levels of the protein, which helps to reduce inflammation, could show that inflammation is rising in the body and that the immune system could attack the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas .
It is thought that IL-1 inhibitors, already in common usage for treating arthritis, could lower the chance that someone with a genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes will eventually develop the condition.
The study involved examining children with a potential genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes, and monitoring blood levels of IL-1ra for indications of the metabolic condition. The scientists are also testing laboratory mice that were genetically programmed to not have the IL-1ra protein to explore what effect on the immune function and insulin production.
Sharad Purohit, lead author on the study, commented “There is always a balance between beta cell production and destructio, and any process that can change the balance can push you to disease or help you recover from it.”

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Coronavirus: UK instructed to stay at home this weekend

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that staying at home this weekend…

Twice daily dairy intakes could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

Eating cheese, yoghurt or eggs twice a day could help lower the…