• Approximately 20,000 children and families being invited to join a type 1 diabetes study
  • Study will assess the risk of type 1 diabetes in children aged 3 to 13
  • Researchers at University of Birmingham will use fingerprick and vein tests to check for autoantibodies

Twenty thousand children are being invited to join a trial by researchers in an effort to pinpoint those who are most at risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

The ELSA Study will offer risk screening for type 1 diabetes for children aged 3 to 13 years old.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas to be destroyed, preventing the body from being able to produce enough insulin to adequately regulate blood glucose levels.

Insulin regulates how the body uses and stores glucose and fat. Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver and muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood.

If type 1 diabetes is left untreated, it can lead to dangerous complications.

As a result, people with type 1 diabetes manage their condition by injecting insulin and testing their blood glucose levels with a blood gluocose monitor or continuous monitoring device.

In the UK, there are an estimated 29,000 children with type 1 diabetes.

The study is recruiting now and will offer home testing to all families.

Parth Narendran, Professor of Diabetes Medicine said “Screening children can reduce their risk of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) at diagnosis around fivefold and can help them and their families settle into the type 1 diagnosis better.”

The research is being led by the University of Birmingham.

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