Effective type 1 diabetes screening risk score discovered
A new risk score has been developed which experts say could be a more effective way to screen for type 1 diabetes.
It works by taking into account detailed genetic information known to increase the chances of the autoimmune condition.
Is it thought this pioneering approach could make life easier when it comes to screening babies deemed ay high risk for type 1 diabetes.
The score could also be used at time of diagnosis to help decide if the person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, which require very different treatments.
The research teams from the University of Exeter and the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle worked collaboratively and together found the risk score, known as T1DGRS2, was nearly twice as efficient at identifying babies at high risk of type 1 diabetes as existing methods in a recent study.
At the moment screening babies involve measuring autoantibodies-proteins in the blood, indicating beta cell destruction.
The research, funded by Diabetes UK, found the new test was also better at predicting type 1 diabetes in adults in the general population.
Being able to identify type 1 diabetes before it has properly developed could help doctors prevent the condition from becoming severe in the future.
The report’s senior author Dr Richard Oram from Exeter University said: “Prediction of what diseases we might get in the future is an important area, and type 1 diabetes has a strong genetic element that we are now able to measure very well.
“Measurement of the type 1 diabetes genetic risk score could help predict who will develop the condition from early life could help with research into potential early life interventions, and with classifying diabetes correctly at diagnosis.”