The Accelerator Hypothesis, Professor Terry Wilkin, the ADAPT trial, cure for Type 1 diabetes

KITLIVING

are picked up by the immune system

whose normal role is to clear up the debris.

A combination of beta cell overload and

unduly intense immune response in the

small minority of people (who carry 'Type

1' immune response genes) results in

beta cell failure and diabetes. The immune

reaction can be monitored by way of tests

for antibodies that are specifically linked

to beta cells. In reality, antibodies are the

worker bees of the immune system - they

grab hold of the particles and transport

them to the body's lymphatic dust bin.

So why aren't antibodies found in Type 2

diabetes? Well, they are, only no one was

looking for them, until now.

Stressed beta cells invoke an immune

response, the point of which is to clear

up the particles of dead beta cells. But it

is a response, not the initiator, according

to Wilkin.

Risky business?

So what is the trial seeking to find? Says

Wilkin, "Most would agree that beta cell

function in established Type 1 diabetes

is irrecoverable, so what we are looking

for here is a way to prevent the condition

in the first place. Although the day Type

1 diabetes is diagnosed is an explosion

in the family's life, the fuse has probably

been burning for years, and this offers

a window of opportunity for prevention.

Pre-Type 1 diabetes, as it is called, can

be detected by the antibody test, and we

have learned from previous studies how

to use the test for predicting risk.

Our first aim in adAPT is to screen all

relevant youngsters as the programme

rolls out. Only one person in 20 will screen

positive, and it is they who will be invited

into the trial itself, which will last five years.

Accordingly, adAPT is inviting the

interest of families throughout the UK

with T1D, and will register the interest of

all who respond (see website to respond

www.adaptdiabetes.org). It will be in

contact for screening with an increasingly

wider population as the study rolls out. An

opportunity to join the intervention phase

of the trial will be offered to all who screen

positive and who fit the eligibility criteria.

The aim of the intervention is to

slow the rate of beta cell loss before the

disease gets a grip by using a well-known

drug in the diabetes arena, Metformin. By

protecting the beta cells, it is hoped to

improve their survival and to avoid release

of the signals that invoke an immune

response. Metformin is a very safe drug

with many upsides to health, including

improving insulin resistance (it is an insulin

sensitizer). This trial has ethical approval

to be used with children between the

ages of five to 16. Says Wilkin, "JDRF

has been helpfulness personified. They

understand how difficult it is to get such

trials underway. Prevention trials are

essential, but a hard sell because the NOW HEAR THIS! Calling

all possible particupants! If

you, or someone you know,

might qualify for this trial,

see over the page for contact

information.

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  12. The Accelerator Hypothesis, Professor Terry Wilkin, the ADAPT trial, cure for Type 1 diabetes
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  15. Ascensia Contour Diabetes blood test meters
  16. The Accelerator Hypothesis, Professor Terry Wilkin, the ADAPT trial, cure for Type 1 diabetes
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