DRC & Research News

This page shares the latest news in T1D research and DRC’s community.

Get the most recent diabetes research news, delivered straight to your inbox

alberto hayek

Meet the DRC Board: Alberto Hayek, M.D.

At the Diabetes Research Connection, our passion is working together with the scientific community to find a way to treat, cure and prevent type 1 diabetes, and our board is dedicated to helping achieve our vision.

2016 has been a monumental year for us, as we’ve raised more money than ever before for early-career scientists’ T1D research. One of our core values is to build a strong connection between the board and our supporters. Thus, we’ve interviewed members of our board to find out more about the impact T1D has had on their lives, why they choose to work with DRC and much more.

First up, get to know one of DRC’s founders, Dr. Alberto Hayek.

Alberto Hayek, M.D., President of DRC

Dr. Hayek is the Scientific Director at San Diego’s Scripps Whittier Institute for Diabetes and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at UCSD. He is a world-renowned diabetes expert in pancreatic islet research and experimental cell replacement therapies for T1D.

We asked Dr. Hayek a few questions to help our donors get to know him better.

How have you been affected by T1D?

Taking care of children with T1D gave me a first-hand glimpse of the struggles this disease causes for patients and their families.

What is the most rewarding part of serving on the DRC board for you personally?

The opportunity to provide funding for junior investigators in T1D as they take their first steps for independent thinking in research and care has been tremendously rewarding.

What is your favorite holiday tradition, related to T1D or not?

I spend a day during Christmas with my grandchildren, ages 3 and 6, making sandwiches for homeless people in San Diego.

Once again, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our donors for helping to make 2016 such a successful year for DRC, and helping to fund innovative T1D research. We’re looking forward to all that 2017 will bring, and we’re hopeful that a year from now we’ll be even closer to eradicating T1D.

Learn More +
holiday travel

Holiday Travel Tips for Those With T1D

The holiday season is in full swing, and many of us will be traveling this month to visit friends, family and loved ones. For those with type 1 diabetes (T1D), though, holiday travels may require a bit more planning. Below we’ve outlined a few things to keep in mind when planning a trip if you or a loved one you are traveling with has T1D. Following these tips will help your travels go smoothly, ensuring a joyous time for all.

Packing Your Medication and Supplies

Whether you’re traveling across the state for a long weekend or across the country for a full week, you’ll need to be strategic when packing your medication and other supplies. Make sure you bring enough of your medication so you’re prepared for any situation that may arise; many find that packing twice as much as they think they’ll need is a safe option. If you’ll be checking any luggage, keep your medicine and anything else you will need in your carry-on, so that you have it if your bags get lost.

In your carry-on bag, make sure you have:

  • Insulin and syringes
  • Blood-testing supplies and extra batteries
  • Any other medications you may need
  • An ID, including something that identifies you as having T1D
  • A small snack and candy or some form of sugar to treat hypoglycemia

As you’re packing, be thinking of where you’ll store your supplies upon arrival. In particular, don’t store your insulin somewhere very hot or very cold, such as the trunk of a car.

Preparing for an Emergency if You’re Abroad

Anyone traveling to another country should have a plan in place in case of a medical emergency, but this is especially important for those with T1D.

If you would like to get a list of English-speaking doctors at your destination before you leave, we suggest contacting the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers. If something happens while you’re abroad and you’re unsure of where to go, contact your local embassy for assistance.

Of course, preventing an emergency is better than preparing for one. This goes without saying, but check your blood glucose levels frequently, and be mindful of crossing time zones when you’re planning the timing of your injections.

Keep Your Medical ID With You

It’s always a good idea to be wearing a medical ID identifying you as someone with T1D, but this can become even more important when traveling. In the event of an emergency, your ID will let first responders, doctors and nurses know that you have T1D and provide information about how you manage it, as well as information about allergies and other pieces of your medical history.

Traditionally, these medical IDs are worn as a bracelet or necklace, and usually consist of a piece of metal with information etched into it. However, modern technology has to lead to more detailed medical IDs with QR codes, URLs and more that can help emergency responders and medical personnel access all your necessary health records.

For more tips and insights for living with type 1 diabetes, subscribe to our newsletter.

Learn More +
pumpkin cheesecake

Diabetic-Friendly Fall and Halloween Treats

The air is cool and crisp, the leaves are beginning to turn and we’re already halfway into October – fall is in full force!

With fall comes many great seasonal foods and treats – pumpkin pies, apple cider and halloween candy, to name a few. However, we know that with so many delicious treats available, it can be hard to choose the right foods to help manage your T1D, or to decide what to offer to your friends or family member with T1D.

Below we’ve rounded up our favorite diabetes-friendly treats and recipes for this season.

No Tricks, Just Treats for Those with T1D

Struggling to decide what to pass out to the adorable little ghosts and goblins who will be knocking on your door at the end of the month? T1D-friendly candies are a great option – in addition to being ideal for your diabetic neighbors, they tend to be healthier for kids in general, something every parent will appreciate.

Diabetic Living suggests offering some of the following T1D-friendly candy to your trick-or-treaters:

  • Fun-sized candy bars generally contain less sugar. Consider offering Kit Kat bars – these wafer-based chocolates have only 7 g sugar, 70 calories, 4 g fat and 9 g carb.
  • Almond M&Ms are a healthier choice than regular M&Ms, as the heart-healthy nut displaces some of the sugar-dense chocolate. One snack size bag will only set you back 10 g sugar, 110 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat and 12 g carb.
  • Dark Chocolate contains heart-healthy antioxidants, but some dark chocolates are better than others. The nuggets of Hershey’s Special Dark with Almonds Nuggets contains only 12 g sugar, 150 calories and 15 g carb.
  • Strawberry Twizzler Twists are the perfect combination of chewy, fruity and sweet. One twist contains 5 g sugar, 40 calories, 0 g fat and 9 g carb.
  • Jolly Ranchers are a great choice as far as hard candies go. Three pieces of these long-lasting sweet and sour treats will set you back 11 g sugar, 70 calories and 17 g carb.
  • Chocolate and Peanut Butter Treats are a classic at Halloween and year-round. Sugar-Free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a great option, as four treats contain 145 calories, 22 g carb and no sugar.

Delicious Fall Treats for Those With T1D and Those Without

As you’re gearing up for your next bonfire, football watch party, halloween party or other fall-themed gathering, consider bringing a delicious, diabetes-friendly fall dish.

If you’re responsible for bringing finger-foods, consider these fresh, healthy Touchdown Tortilla Wraps.

Recipe: Touchdown Tortilla Wraps

Taken from Diabetic Living.

touchdown tortilla wrap

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe for Touchdown Tortilla Wraps”]


  • 3 7- or 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1/2 8-ounce tub light cream cheese with chive and onion or roasted garlic
  • 18 – 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 7-ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, well drained and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced cooked roast beef, ham, and/or turkey
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise dressing or light salad dressing


  1. Spread each tortilla with one-third of the cream cheese. Cover cream cheese with a layer of basil leaves, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange roasted red peppers on basil leaves. Top with sliced meat. Divide mayonnaise among tortillas, spreading over meat.
  2. Roll up each tortilla tightly into a spiral. Cut each tortilla roll in half crosswise. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill for up to 4 hours. Tote in an insulated cooler with ice packs. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Per Serving: 135 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 24 mg chol., 186 mg sodium, 10 g carb. (1 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 8 g pro.
Diabetic Exchanges

Fat (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 0.5


When it comes time for a T1D-friendly dessert, we suggest this delicious no-bake pumpkin cheesecake.

Recipe: No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Taken from Diabetic Living.

pumpkin cheesecake

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe for No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake”]


  • 1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust (see recipe below)
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 8 ounce tub light cream cheese
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 of an 8-ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
  • Frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon, chopped toasted pecans, and/or pomegranate seeds** (optional)


  1. Prepare graham cracker crust (see below); set aside. In a small saucepan, stir together gelatin and the water; let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves; set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar, the 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the gelatin mixture; beat until well mixed. Fold in the three-quarters container of dessert topping. Spread mixture into crust in springform pan. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours or until set.
  3. Using a thin metal spatula or table knife, loosen the cheesecake from the side of the springform pan. If desired, use a wide spatula to remove cheesecake from bottom of pan and place on a serving plate. Cut into wedges to serve. If desired, top with additional whipped topping and garnish with additional cinnamon, chopped pecans, and/or pomegranate seeds**. Makes 14 servings.


  • *Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda® Granular, Equal® Spoonful or packets, or Sweet ‘N Low® bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar for both crust and filling.
  • *Sugar Substitutes: PER SERVING WITH SUBSTITUTE: same as above, except 136 cal., 11 g carb.
  • **Test Kitchen Tip: To remove the seeds from a pomegranate, cut the pomegranate in half through the skin. Remove the peel and break the fruit into sections. Then separate the seeds from the membrane.
  • Tip: To toast nuts, spread in a shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden, shaking pan once or twice.

Graham Cracker Crust: Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers,
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, canola oil, and sugar. Mix well. Spread evenly in bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan; press firmly onto bottom. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 14
PER SERVING: 150 cal., 8 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 11 mg chol., 144 mg sodium, 14 g carb. (1 g fiber), 5 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Other Carb (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 1.5


For more T1D-friendly recipes and foods, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Learn More +
diabetic dog

Type 1 Diabetes and Diabetic Alert Dogs

Dogs are often called a man’s best friend – but for some, this common phrase has a much deeper meaning.

Groups like Canine Hope for Diabetics and Diabetic Alert Dogs of America help type 1 diabetics safely gain independence through training and providing working service dogs. These Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to pick up on low (hypoglycemia) or high (hyperglycemia) blood sugar events and alert their owners before it becomes dangerous. These dogs are able to detect the chemical change produced by blood sugar high and lows and alert their owners so they can take steps to return their blood sugar to normal levels and avoid a diabetic emergency.

How Diabetic Alert Dogs Make Life Easier for Those With T1D

To get a glimpse of just how much of a difference these dogs make for adults and children with T1D, consider Luke’s story. Luke was diagnosed with T1D at just two years old. His mom took him to the doctor after noticing he was tired, thirsty and irritable, and a fingerprick confirmed that he had T1D. The doctor sent Luke straight to the hospital, where his mom began to learn how to take care of him with the new diagnosis: how to prick his finger, how to check his blood sugar and how to administer insulin.

So why did Luke need a Diabetic Alert Dog? He is hypoglycemic unaware, which means that he can’t tell when his blood sugar is getting too low. Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to notice when blood sugar gets too low and notify their owners. Getting a dog would give Luke more independence; he’d be able to play sports, go to friends’ houses and be a “normal” kid again.

Luke received Jedi, a Diabetic Alert Dog who has saved his life many, many times. Jedi knows when Luke’s blood sugar gets too low, and alerts him and his mom so that they can take the necessary steps to correct his blood sugar. Just recently, at a Friends for Life conference, Jedi alerted Luke’s mom twice while he was playing with other children with type 1 diabetes. Luke was too low the first time and too high the second time.

It’s not just Luke benefitting from from having a Diabetic Alert Dog, either. Many children and adults with T1D have dogs that warn them of extreme blood sugar fluctuations, often saving their lives.

If you have T1D and are interested in learning more about Diabetic Alert Dogs, we encourage you to contact Canine Hope for Diabetics, Diabetic Alert Dogs of America or a similar group that trains alert dogs for diabetics.

For more information, news updates and resources for type 1 diabetics, sign up for our newsletter.

Learn More +
diabetes infographic preview

What Are The Types of Diabetes? [INFOGRAPHIC]

The term “diabetes” refers to a group of diseases that result in problems with blood sugar levels. Each type of diabetes has a different root cause.

View the infographic below to learn more about the different types of diabetes, including who they affect, their cause and typical treatment.

For more information about type 1 diabetes, check out our resource center.


Note: T1D is diagnosed in children, young adults and adults.

Learn More +
type 1 diabetes resource center

Introducing Our New Type 1 Diabetes Resource Center

As an organization devoted to making a difference in the lives of those with type 1 diabetes and their caretakers by funding innovative scientific researching into ways to treat, cure and prevent T1D, it’s important to us that we’re supporting those with T1D in any way we can.

In a recent survey sent to our donors, we learned that 89% felt that there is a lack of education about living with the disease, and another 89% felt that there is a lack of education about current type 1 diabetes research. 55% of those we surveyed said they felt a lack of emotional support, and 77% said they felt that the people they interact with on a daily basis don’t understand what type 1 diabetes is. Perhaps most astounding, 100% of those we surveyed agreed that there is a lack of type 1 diabetes awareness among those not living with the disease.

Additionally, we found that our donors would like to learn more about living with type 1 diabetes, and that they especially wanted to learn more about current research being done into preventing, treating and curing type 1 diabetes.

To help meet this need for diabetes awareness and education, we’re proud to present our new type 1 diabetes resources center. We’ve scoured the internet and curated the best resources we can find for those with T1D, parents and family of those diagnosed with T1D and anyone else interested in learning more about the disease.

[su_button url=”https://drcsite.wpengine.com/type-1-diabetes-resources/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#64b243″ size=”6″ center=”yes” radius=”5″ icon=”icon: angle-right”]View Our Type 1 Diabetes Resources[/su_button]

Find the Type 1 Diabetes Information and Resources You Need

In our type 1 diabetes resource center, you’ll find links to all the information you need, including:

  • A basic overview of type 1 diabetes
  • Information about the true cost of type 1 diabetes
  • Tips for managing type 1 diabetes or supporting a loved who with diabetes
  • Where to find support online
  • Food and fitness tips, including delicious diabetic-friendly recipes and great workouts
  • Information about what puts people at risk for developing type 1 diabetes
  • An overview of current type 1 diabetes research
  • Ways to get involved in diabetes research

Looking for even more tips, information and resources about type 1 diabetes? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter!

For more information about the type 1 diabetes research we’re helping to fund, check out our active projects.

Learn More +
diabetes recipes

Finding the Best Recipes for a Diabetes Diet

Having type 1 diabetes or cooking for someone with type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you’re stuck with bland, boring or tasteless food. Rather, eating moderate amounts of a variety of healthy, nutritious foods is key to keeping your insulin levels in check. In general, you’ll want to stick with nutrient-rich foods that are low in fat and calories, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Finding Diabetic Friendly Recipes

We’ve compiled some of our favorite resources for finding the best diabetic recipes that fit into a diabetic diet.

Diabetic Foodie

Shelby, the writer behind Diabetic Foodie, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1999. She grew up eating southern food at nearly every meal, but after her diagnosis she quickly learned that eating healthy foods made managing her diabetes much easier. On her blog, Shelby provides recipes that generally follow the American Diabetes Association Guidelines, focusing primarily on lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables.

A Sweet Life

A Sweet Life is a diabetes magazine, and their website is packed full of great recipes for diabetics. Whether you’re looking for diabetic-friendly desserts, something low carb, or something to cook for a holiday, you’re sure to find it in their catalog of recipes. Plus, if you’re looking for a diabetic version of a specific recipe, just use their search feature to look for something diabetes-friendly!

Diabetes Self-Management

Diabetes Self-Management discusses multiple ways to manage your diabetes, but their recipes section is especially valuable. Recipes are diabetes-friendly and are divided into categories such as beverages, breakfast, desserts and sweets, main dishes, salads, sides, snacks and appetizers and soups and stews.

T1 Everyday Magic

T1 Everyday Magic is a special resource from Lilly Diabetes and Disney, and is specifically geared toward parents of children with type 1 diabetes. While the site includes resources for parents of newly-diagnosed children, information about general daily living and a large section devoted to recipes for children with diabetes. These recipes are kid-friendly, and include foods such as waffled eggs, chocolate avocado truffle spoons, peanut butter rice cereal bars and holiday-specific classroom treats.

For more great resources on diabetes-friendly recipes and other aspects of living with type 1 diabetes, sign up for the Diabetes Research Connection newsletter.

Learn More +
Measuring blood sugar

Artificial Pancreas Protocol Deemed Feasible for Younger Kids

Original article published by HealthDay News on May 12, 2016. Click here to read the original article.

Artificial pancreas linked to three-fold reduction of time-in-hypoglycemia for 5- to 9-year-olds

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A child-specific version of the modular model predictive control (MMPC) algorithm is feasible and safe for 5- to 9-year-old children with type 1 diabetes, according to the first outpatient single-hormone artificial pancreas (AP) trial in a population of this age, published online May 10 inDiabetes Care.

Simone Del Favero, Ph.D., from the University of Padua in Italy, and colleagues conducted an open-label, randomized, crossover trial involving 30 children, aged 5 to 9 years, with type 1 diabetes. The authors compared three days with an AP with three days of parent-managed sensor-augmented pump (SAP).

The researchers observed a reduction in overnight time-in-hypoglycemia with the AP versus the SAP (median, 0.0 versus 2.2 percent; P = 0.002), with no significant change of time-in-target (56.0 and 59.7 percent, respectively; P = 0.430); there was an increase in mean glucose (173 versus 150 mg/dL; P = 0.002). The AP was associated with a three-fold reduction of time-in-hypoglycemia (P < 0.001) at a cost of reduced time-in-target (P = 0.022) and increased mean glucose (P < 0.001).

“This trial, the first outpatient single-hormone AP trial in a population of this age, shows feasibility and safety of MMPC in young children,” the authors write. “Algorithm retuning will be performed to improve efficacy.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies, several of which provided equipment for the study.

Learn More +
air pollution

Traffic-Related Air Pollution Linked to Type 1 Diabetes in Children

Several studiesTraffic- Air Pollution have already linked the likelihood of death by respiratory and circulatory illness to the level of fine dust particles present in the air. A Munich study now shows that high levels of fine dust pollution could possibly increase the risk of type 1 diabetes among children.

Fine dust pollution leads to earlier instances of type 1 diabetes in small children, according to a study by the Institute for Diabetes Research at the Helmholtz Centre in Munich. Environmental factors, the researchers found, also have an effect on the development of the illness.

“Our results indicate that exposure to traffic-related pollutants accelerates the development of type 1 diabetes…”

“Our results indicate that exposure to traffic-related pollutants accelerates the development of type 1 diabetes,” the authors of the study, Andreas Beyerlein, Miriam Krasmann and their colleagues indicated. But their data suggests this result only applies to very young children.

The researchers analysed data from 671 young patients with type 1 diabetes, recorded between April 2009 and May 2013 in the Bavarian diabetes register DiMelli (Diabetes Incidence Cohort Registry).

The focus of the analysis was to compare the time of diagnosis in small children with contact to certain air pollutants around their homes. Blood samples from patients were also tested for various inflammatory markers at the time of diagnosis.

During the analysis, the researchers also took other factors into consideration, such as the history of diabetes in a child’s family, the education level of parents and a child’s body mass index.

Air pollution from exhaust emissions increase risk in urban areas.

The researchers found that small children from residential environments with high levels of ambient air pollution developed type 1 diabetes three years earlier on average than children in the same age group from areas with low levels of pollution.

The correlation was found for concentrations of fine dust particles with an aerodynamic diameter of <10µm and nitrogen dioxide. Both substances are categorised as traffic-related pollutants.

Further, the researchers consider it unlikely that other typical occurrences related to city life could also be contributing to the correlation between diabetes and place of residence.

“Our results were independent from the level of urbanisation in the areas analysed,” the researchers said. This indicates that pollutants are responsible for the correlation observed and not a different lifestyle in cities or higher temperatures in urban areas.

Type 1 diabetes is the most common chronic illness in children and youth. 65,000 new cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, with an estimated 3% annual rate of increase. In Germany alone, 2,100 to 2,300 new cases are registered annually among children and teens up to 14 years of age.

Studies indicate a yearly 3-4% increase in the rate of new cases for type 1 diabetes. Now, the Helmholtz Centre study suggests a correlation between the increase in new cases and growing urbanisation.

Air pollution poses biggest environment-related health risk.

The fact that smog and traffic-related air pollution considerably increase the risk for numerous diseases, including cancer, lung diseases as well as heart and circulatory conditions, is nothing new. The European Environment Agency (EEA) presented its progress report in early March.

According to the agency, fine particulates in the air are to blame for around 430,000 premature deaths in the European Union. Despite measures to introduce a driving ban, and stricter guidelines for industry, the report does not consider the danger to be over.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies air pollution as the largest environment-related health risk worldwide and estimates the number of deaths due to air pollution at 7 million per year.

In 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency responded to the dramatic increase in evidence of adverse health effects related to fine dust particles by adjusting threshold values for the pollutants. The long-term threshold values for respirable fine dust particles with an aerodynamic diameter under 2.5µm was decreased from 15 to 12 µg per cubic metre. In the EU, the roughly comparable value is currently still at 25µg per cubic metre.

In Germany, especially large episodes of smog have become a rare occurrence. Still, the country’s limit values for air quality are often exceeded. Though filtration of more coarse particles has been mostly effective, the amount of smaller, respirable particles – so-called fine dust particles – in emissions has increased. The main sources of fine dust particles are industry, furnace heating, motors and agriculture.


Learn More +
Antibodies in the blood effect Diabetes

Early Signs in Young Children Predict Type 1 Diabetes

New research shows that it is possible to predict the development of type 1 diabetes. By measuring the presence of autoantibodies in the blood, it is possible to detect whether the immune system has begun to break down the body’s own insulin cells.

“In the TEDDY study we have found that autoantibodies often appear during the first few years of life,” said Professor Åke Lernmark from Lund University, who is leading the study in Sweden.

The TEDDY study, funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), involves 8 600 children from Sweden, the US, Germany and Finland. The children have an increased hereditary risk of type 1 diabetes, detected at birth through tests on blood from the umbilical cord. TEDDY stands for “The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young.”

Antibodies are part of the body’s immune system and the presence of antibodies in the blood is a sign that the immune system has reacted to an intruder such as a virus or a bacteria. Sometimes, the immune system mutinies and attacks the body. Autoantibodies are a sign of an autoimmune disease and form markers indicating that an attack is underway, for example on the body’s own insulin cells.

The new findings from the TEDDY study have been published in the journal Diabetologia and show that there are three ways to predict the development of type 1 diabetes.

Three ways to predict development of type 1 diabetes:

1. If the autoantibody first discovered attacks insulin (IAA) In Sweden this usually takes place at the age of 18 months. However, in the study as a whole most babies affected were less than a year old.

“If a second autoantibody is detected later, then the person will get diabetes — but it may take up to 20 years,” said Åke Lernmark.

2. If the first autoantibody targets GAD65 (GADA), a protein inside the insulin-producing cells In Sweden this usually happens at the age of two and half, whereas in the study as a whole it was most common at the age of two.

3. If both autoantibodies are first found together

“In TEDDY, 40 per cent of these children had already developed diabetes,” said Åke Lernmark

Of the participating children, 6.5 per cent had their first autoantibody before the age of six.

  • In 44 per cent of cases, they only had an autoantibody against insulin (IAA). Most of them had this by the age of 1-2.
  • In 38 per cent of cases, GAD65 autoantibodies (GADA) were detected. The numbers increased until the age of two and then remained constant.
  • In 14 per cent of cases both autoantibodies were found at the same time, with a peak at the age of 2-3.

The hereditary risk of type 1 diabetes determined which autoantibody the children had. However, it is still not known what causes the immune system to start attacking the body’s own insulin cells to start with. One theory is that a viral infection could be the trigger.

“It is possible that there are two different diseases involved. Perhaps one virus triggers the autoantibodies against insulin and another one the autoantibodies against GAD65,” said Åke Lernmark.

Footnote: Since the birth of the children in the TEDDY study, their parents have kept regular, detailed food diaries, submitted blood and stool samples, nail samples and information about illnesses and medication. When autoantibodies are detected in a child’s blood, the researchers begin the sizeable task of analysing all the material in the hunt for what it is that may have caused the immune system to mutiny.


Lund University. “Early signs in young children predict type 1 diabetes.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2015. Click here to read the originally published article on Science Daily.


Learn More +


See our approved research projects and campaigns.

Role of the integrated stress response in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis
In individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D), the insulin-producing beta cells are spontaneously destroyed by their own immune system. The trigger that provokes the immune system to destroy the beta cells is unknown. However, accumulating evidence suggest that signals are perhaps first sent out by the stressed beta cells that eventually attracts the immune cells. Stressed cells adapt different stress mitigation systems as an adaptive response. However, when these adaptive responses go awry, it results in cell death. One of the stress response mechanisms, namely the integrated stress response (ISR) is activated under a variety of stressful stimuli to promote cell survival. However, when ISR is chronically activated, it can be damaging to the cells and can lead to cell death. The role of the ISR in the context of T1D is unknown. Therefore, in this DRC funded study, we propose to study the ISR in the beta cells to determine its role in propagating T1D.
Wearable Skin Fluorescence Imaging Patch for the Detection of Blood Glucose Level on an Engineered Skin Platform
A Potential Second Cure for T1D by Re-Educating the Patient’s Immune System
L Ferreira
Validating the Hypothesis to Cure T1D by Eliminating the Rejection of Cells From Another Person by Farming Beta Cells From a Patient’s Own Stem Cells
Han Zhu
Taming a Particularly Lethal Category of Cells May Reduce/Eliminate the Onset of T1D
JRDwyer 2022 Lab 1
Can the Inhibition of One Specific Body Gene Prevent Type 1 Diabetes?
Is Cholesterol Exacerbating T1D by Reducing the Functionality and Regeneration Ability of Residual Beta Cells?
Regeneration Ability of Residual Beta Cells
A Call to Question… Is T1D Caused by Dysfunctionality of Two Pancreatic Cells (β and α)?
Xin Tong
Novel therapy initiative with potential path to preventing T1D by targeting TWO components of T1D development (autoimmune response and beta-cell survival)
flavia pecanha