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!
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy