Stopping type 1 diabetes from birth – BBC News

Experts believe they may have found a way to prevent high risk babies from developing type 1 diabetes.

The idea is to train infants’ immune systems by giving them powdered insulin to offer life-long protection.

Insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar, which goes awry in diabetes.

Pregnant women visiting maternity clinics in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire are being asked to sign up to the trial.

Parents that take part will be asked to give their children insulin powder daily from the age of about six months until they are three years old.

They will have visits from the research team to monitor the child’s health.

Half of the study participants will be given the real insulin while half will get a placebo powder containing no drug.

Neither the researchers nor participants will know which they received until after the trial so as not to bias the results.

Type 1 diabetes

It is thought about one in every 100 babies has genes that put them at increased risk of developing type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes.

Experts say a heel prick blood test that is routinely done on newborns to spot other conditions could also detect these genes.

The researchers, from Oxford University, want to screen 30,000 babies in this way to find eligible ones for their trial.

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