It’s Time to Redefine Type 1 Diabetes

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Last month, JDRF co-hosted a workshop where healthcare experts from government, nonprofit agencies and educational institutions discussed expanding the definition of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) to recognize the earliest stages of human T1D before a person is clinically symptomatic. The benefits of the proposed system could include potentially faster drug development, identification of people living with the early stages of T1D, and better treatments for people and families at high risk for T1D through screening.

“Currently, you either have T1D or don’t, which does not fully capture the complexity of T1D for all people. We suggested three divisions to include the earlier stages of the T1D classification as:

  • Stage 1 T1D: Autoimmunity plus normal glucose tolerance
  • Stage 2 T1D: Autoimmunity plus abnormal glucose tolerance
  • Stage 3 T1D: Symptomatic T1D which requires insulin therapy

For the last two decades, JDRF and other organizations have been gathering data on the natural history of T1D to better understand the progression of T1D,” said Dick Insel, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer for JDRF.

JDRF advocacy and research team worked together to draw more than sixty experts from academia, American Diabetes Association (ADA) National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Helmsley Charitable Trust . “The workshop provided an opportunity for government and voluntary organizational scientists to develop collaborative approaches toward prevention therapies that build on our ability to quantitate T1D risk,” said Judy Fradkin, M.D., Director, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases at NIH.

While the key clinical benefit is identifying at-risk patients earlier in disease process, “What we are trying to do is provide a patient-centered approach to the care of the individual person affected by diabetes,” said Robert Ratner, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of ADA.

The workshop was a success for the entire community as summarized by Dan Moore, M.D., assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and a T1D patient himself, “To not lose hope – early diagnosis is coming and that’s going to drive a new generation, a new wave of improved therapies.”

To see the “Defining the Early Stages of T1D Workshop” presentations, please click here.

For more information about JDRF’s prevention efforts and to learn more about the workshop, watch a video “JDRF: Defining the Early Stages of Type 1 Diabetes”:

workshop panel
Workshop Panel: Opportunities for Future T1D Prevention