Curing Diabetes

Screening for T1D: The power of prevention

Screening is provided free of charge to qualified individuals to assess their personal risk of developing the disease. This specialized screening can detect the early stages of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) long before symptoms manifest.

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is a condition that affects many, and early detection can significantly alter its course. T1D is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly targets the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, our bodies cannot properly process sugar, leading to elevated blood sugar levels and severe health complications.

What Are Autoantibodies?

Autoantibodies are proteins made by the immune system that mistakenly attack the body’s own cells. In the context of T1D, autoantibodies target and destroy pancreatic cells that produce insulin. They serve as early indicators that someone might develop T1D.

The Importance of Detecting Autoantibodies

Detecting autoantibodies early provides a significant opportunity for intervention. Individuals who test positive for two or more autoantibodies are at a high risk of developing T1D. This early detection allows healthcare providers to monitor these individuals closely and start preventative treatments to delay or potentially prevent the onset of diabetes.

Teplizumab: An innovation in Prevention**

A major leap in diabetes prevention is the FDA’s recent approval of Teplizumab (marketed as Tzield). This medication is specifically designed for individuals at high risk of developing T1D, such as those with multiple positive autoantibodies. Teplizumab works by moderating the immune system’s activity to protect insulin-producing cells, offering new hope for those identified through autoantibody screening.

Empowering Patients and Families

Screening for autoantibodies not only helps in early detection but also empowers individuals and families to take proactive steps in managing their health. For families with a history of T1D, understanding their risk through these screenings can be especially valuable, providing them with the knowledge and tools to potentially alter their future.

Call to action

The Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) is at the forefront of these efforts. For those interested in learning more or participating in preventive measures, DRI offers screening at no cost and access to clinical trials. These resources are pivotal in advancing our understanding and prevention of T1D, ensuring that those at risk receive the most informed and effective care possible.

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