Diabetes testing advances
AUSTRALIAN researchers are a step closer to their bold plan of testing every child in the country to check their risk of type 1 diabetes, after developing a single finger prick blood test to diagnose the chronic disease.
Immunotherapies have been shown to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes by years when used early, fuelling hopes that a lifelong reliance on insulin can be superseded by other treatments that turn off the immune attack on the pancreas before irreversible damage occurs.
But what is needed are cheaper and less-invasive ways of screening children to determine who is at immediate risk of decline.
The international study, led by the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, analysed the blood test results from 3500 adults and children taken across multiple years.
They found a single finger prick test two hours after a glucose drink could replace the current multiple blood samples taken over a two-hour oral glucose tolerance challenge. The findings were published in the journal Diabetologia.
“Ultimately we have bold visions for not only testing every kid in a diabetes family, but every kid in Australia,” lead researcher and endocrinologist Associate Professor John Wentworth said.