Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center, supported by JDRF, have completed a study of 158 people who have lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for 50 years or more with eye examinations at Joslin over many decades of follow-up, and have concluded that a high proportion of this unique group of patients developed little to no diabetic eye disease over time.
The study focuses on a group of patients known as "50-year Medalists," and was funded by JDRF in support of its efforts to improve the lives of people with T1D by reducing or eliminating the impact of its complications. Their results, which researchers hope will lead to a means to prevent or slow the progression of the disease, were presented at the 72nd American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia this past weekend.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) refers to a number of vision abnormalities that are all related to damage to the blood vessels in the eye caused by high blood glucose levels. It is the most common and one of the most serious complications of diabetes, affecting nearly 90 percent of people who have had T1D for at least 20 years. Although some treatment options exist for those with more advanced forms of the disease, DR remains the leading cause of vision loss among working age adults in the United States and other developed countries worldwide. The fact that approximately 40 percent of Medalists are relatively unaffected by such a common complication led researchers in this study to evaluate whether these Medalists developed DR and then experienced regression or lack of progression, or never developed significant DR at all.
"Joslin's attempt to characterize diabetic retinopathy is an important starting point for preventing or treating this complication of T1D," said Helen Nickerson, JDRF's senior scientific program manager of complications therapies. "The understanding that these Medalists have been relatively unaffected by such a common complication leads us to infer that there may be biological or genetic protective factors that could be utilized to benefit other people with type 1 diabetes."
"The results we received from looking at this special group of patients led to some very interesting findings," said Dr. Jennifer Sun, co-investigator on the study at Joslin. "In Medalists who did not develop advanced DR, there was no evidence of substantial DR regression, but the progression of retinopathy seems to slow after about four years in comparison to those who do develop advanced DR. Further, after about two decades, the process of DR worsening essentially seems to halt. It is this halting of disease progression that we will be studying as we move forward to identify the factors that result in protection against long-term complications in the 50-year Medalists."The Medalist program was initially conceived by Dr. Eliot P. Joslin as an incentive for those who had lived with T1D for 25 years, rewarding them for commitment to good self-management techniques. Due to the advancements in treatment therapies supported by organizations like JDRF and Joslin Diabetes Center, today the Medalist program recognizes people who have lived with T1D for 50 and even 75 years. In order to be selected as a 50-year Medalist, like the patients involved in this study, a person must have lived with documented insulin-dependent diabetes for at least 50 years.
Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. Past JDRF research efforts have helped to significantly improve the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org.
Michael Cook | EurekAlert!
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences