Having one person in your family with type 1 diabetes increases your risk by 15 times
VANCOUVER, Oct. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - The cause of Type 1 diabetes is the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas by a patient's own immune system. Innovative research by Dr. Carla Greenbaum, Director of Diabetes Clinical Research at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington is investigating new ways to turn off that immune attack, as a means to treat early diabetes or avert it altogether.
Dr. Greenbaum is making a keynote address "Closer to a Cure?" tomorrow at 8 a.m. at the 15th annual conference of the Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism in Vancouver, (Vancouver Convention Centre West building Ballroom A/B). She will focus on the latest research into early identification of the disease and exciting new therapies to delay onset and severity.
In order to maximize the benefits of these new treatments, scientists need to be able to identify people who are at high risk of developing type 1 diabetes and who might benefit from treatment. Dr. Greenbaum's work also addresses this important issue. "Having one person in your family with type 1 diabetes increases the risk that another family member will develop the disease by 15 times," she reported.
Her work on Type 1 diabetes has impacted the treatment of the disease and has made her one of the United States' most respected diabetes researchers. She is acknowledged internationally as a leader in the design and conduct of experimental trials for children with diabetes.
"Type 1 diabetes is an immune mediated disease in which islet beta cells* are destroyed by the immune system. Much has been learned about the process involved in immune attack," says Dr. Greenbaum. "At the same time, studies over the past few decades have confirmed our ability to determine risk for type 1 diabetes - thus predicting disease. Together, this information has led to testing therapies both, before diagnosis, to see if the disease can be prevented or delayed in those at risk and, after diagnosis to see if the course of the disease can be changed."
At least three different types of therapies have been shown to preserve beta cell function in individuals with early type 1 diabetes. Preserving beta cell function is expected to lead to better diabetes control and fewer diabetes complications. Dr. Greenbaum will describe the results of clinical trials to alter the immune attack on beta cells.
Without prevention, there is no cure, and that's what drives this dedicated doctor and researcher.
Dr. Greenbaum is the author of numerous scientific publications, abstracts, editorials and reviews, and is a frequent speaker at national and international meetings and conferences.
* Beta cells are a type of cell in the pancreas that make and release insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Degeneration of the beta cells is the main cause of Type 1 diabetes.
Dr Carla Greenbaum is available for interviews for two hours starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time immediately following her address.
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About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
SOURCE: Canadian Diabetes Association
For further information:
and to schedule an interview contact:
Natasha Netschay Davies