"We can't use a vaccine to prevent type 1 diabetes in the general population, like we do for polio, because we don't know if the vaccine will cause harm or effectively prevent the disease. So we have to identify people at risk first," said Massimo Pietropaolo, MD, a researcher in the Diabetes Institute at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. "Our study and the new research it leads to will help us better predict risk of type 1 diabetes and identify those who can be involved in major trials in the United States and around the world."
Dr. Pietropaolo, who also is an associate professor of pediatrics, medicine and immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as an associate professor of epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, spoke today at an American Medical Association briefing, Diabetes: Understanding & Advancements, in New York City. He and other researchers from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh began their study, to be published in the December issue of the journal Pediatric Diabetes, by looking at both older and newer methods of assessing risk for type 1 diabetes in family members of those with the disease.
Older assays, or chemical tests, predict risk for type 1 diabetes by identifying what are called islet cell antibodies. These are produced when the body's immune system fails to recognize insulin-generating islet cells produced by the pancreas as self, and attacks them as if they were foreign cells. The islet cell antibodies are marker
Contact: Marc Lukasiak
American Medical Association