Unborn babies test for type 1 diabetes supported by $8mS

The first study in the world to

test unborn babies for type 1

diabetes has reportedly been supported by an $8

million funding injection.
University of Adelaide where the national study is being carried out

is the first in the world to test

pregnant women for the probability that

their unborn child may have the

condition.
The funding is being provided by

the Juvenile Diabetes Research

Foundation and the Helmsley

Charitable Trust and comes on

top of a $35 million Federal

Government grant over five

years.

The Foundation's chief executive

Mike Wilson said unlike type 2

diabetes, authorities still did not

know what caused type 1.

"Type 1 diabetes has a very

strong genetic element to it, but

that doesn't determine alone

whether you develop the

disease," he said.

"You need to know what

happens in the environment to

trigger its initiation."
Researchers are hoping to find

out whether environmental

factors trigger the onset of type

1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes affects the

body's ability to make insulin,

which controls blood-sugar

levels, and can be developed at

any age though it is most

common in children.
Principal investigator Professor

Jenny Couper said the money

would allow researchers to test

1,400 pregnant women who

have type 1 diabetes, have a

partner with type 1 diabetes or

who have already had a child

develop the disease.

"It's the only study in the world

that is going right back into

pregnancy to look at what is

causing diabetes and what we

could change, most importantly,

to prevent diabetes," she said.

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