Type 2 cure highlighted as research priority by survey
Finding a cure for type 2 diabetes and new ways to reverse it have emerged as key research priorities in a new poll.
In a survey compiled by Diabetes UK, thousands of people with type 2 diabetes, carers and healthcare professionals have chosen their most important research priorities for the condition.
Other research areas people highlighted were preventing type 2 diabetes from developing, slowing its progression, and supporting people to best manage their condition.
Scientists and research funders usually make decisions around what to research. But Diabetes UK said it is committed to giving people with diabetes a louder voice, and to making research it funds as relevant as possible to them.
In 2016, the charity launched a partnership with the James Lind Alliance to find the unanswered research questions that matter most to members of the type 2 diabetes community.
Katie Gray, a podiatrist who treats people with type 2 diabetes, said: “My experience as a healthcare professional has made me realise that more research is needed to help understand diabetes, its complications, and how to best support patients. I wanted to get involved as I thought that research judged as a priority by those on the front line of type 2 diabetes could have great value.”
Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “By knowing what matters most to people living with or treating Type 2 diabetes, we now have a chance to drive research forward and direct funding to where it’s needed most.
“As the leading charitable funder of diabetes research in the UK, we’ll use the Type 2 priorities to help us make decisions around what to fund. We’ll also be encouraging scientists and other research funders to tackle these priorities.
“Research focused on these issues has the opportunity to significantly improve the lives of people with Type 2 diabetes in the future.”
The Top 10 research priorities for type 2 diabetes:
- Can type 2 diabetes be cured or reversed, what is the best way to achieve this and is there a point beyond which the condition can’t be reversed?
- How do we identify people at high risk of type 2 diabetes and help to prevent the condition from developing?
- What is the best way to encourage people with type 2 diabetes, whoever they are and wherever they live, to self-manage their condition, and how should it be delivered?
- How do stress and anxiety influence the management of type 2 diabetes and does positive mental wellbeing have an effect?
- How can people with type 2 diabetes be supported to make lifestyle changes to help them manage their condition, how effective are they, and what stops them from working?
- Why does type 2 diabetes get progressively worse over time, what is the most effective way to slow or prevent progression, and how can this be best measured?
- Should diet and exercise be used as an alternative to medications for managing type 2 diabetes, or alongside them?
- What causes nerve damage in people with type 2 diabetes, who does it affect most, how can we increase awareness of it, and how can it be best prevented and treated?
- How can psychological or social support be best used to help people with, or at risk of type 2 diabetes, and how should this be delivered to account for individual needs?
- What role do fats, carbohydrates and proteins play in managing type 2 diabetes, and are there risks and benefits to using particular approaches?