The latest research suggests that type 1 diabetes is a set of two different conditions depending upon the diagnosis age. Researchers say that children who are under the age of seven diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have different conditions as compared to those who are diagnosed with age 13 or above.
Researchers at the University of Exeter found that children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes under the age of seven don’t process insulin properly and the cells making insulin are quickly destroyed. However, children aged 13 or above at diagnosis continue producing insulin normally.
The outcomes reignite some important questions related to dormant insulin-producing cells as to whether they could be rejuvenated for working more effectively.
This study suggests new names for these two different forms, endotypes of the condition. Type 1 diabetes endotype 1 (TIDE1) for the youngest children at diagnosis and type 2 diabetes endotype 2 (T1DE2) for children who are age 13 or over at diagnosis.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.25 million people in America have type 1 diabetes; nearly 40,000 people receive the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes each year in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million adults in America are living with prediabetes or diabetes. Their annual report shows that diagnoses of diabetes for people with age 18 age or older have been increasing, with new cases occurring at about 1.5 million per year.
Type 1 diabetes which is previously known as juvenile diabetes is normally diagnosed in childhood. According to an estimate of ADA, only about 5% of people living with diabetes have type 1.
Factors like genetics and certain viruses may contribute to type 1 diabetes, exact causes are not known. There is currently no known prevention but there are treatments to control the symptoms.
Professor Noel Morgan at the University of Exeter Medical School said that they are excited to share evidence that type 1 diabetes is a set of two different conditions- T1DE1 and T1DE2. This could be helpful in understanding the causes of disease and also in unlocking the new avenues for preventing our coming generations from getting type 1 diabetes.
It will also lead to the development of new treatments by finding new ways to regenerate the dormant insulin-producing cells in the older age group. It would be significant for finding new therapeutic treatments for people.
An associate professor, Sarah Richarson said that this research could be significant for recent emerging treatments for type 1 diabetes. There are a lot of promising immunotherapies that can slow down the progression of disease but they have not so far translated into effective treatments. She added that there is need to focus more on the application of new treatments in each age group for them to be effective.