Recruitment has opened for a trial screening programme for Type 1 diabetes that will identify children at high risk of developing the condition, laying the groundwork for the development of any potential UK-wide screening programme.
Rapid diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is essential to avoid life-threatening complications. However, over a quarter of children aren’t diagnosed with type 1 diabetes until they are in diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition that requires urgent hospital treatment.
Funded by Diabetes UK and JDRF, ELSA (EarLy Surveillance for Autoimmune diabetes) will aim to recruit 20,000 children, aged 3-13 years, to assess their risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. It will provide crucial insights into practical and effective ways to screen large numbers of children in the UK, and support those at high risk and their families to ensure the earliest, safest diagnosis possible. Those identified as high risk could also gain access to clinical trials testing the newest innovations in Type 1 diabetes treatment, which could prevent or delay the condition.
The national research team, led by researchers at the University of Birmingham, will assess children’s risk of Type 1 diabetes by testing for markers in the blood called autoantibodies, which can appear in the blood years, or even decades, before people begin to experience any symptoms.
Children found to be at risk and their families will be offered support and education – including information on symptoms and management – to help prepare them for the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.
To find out more, and sign up for the study, CLICK HERE