Early Detection of Type 1 Diabetes: Study Center Opened

In the presence of Dr. Melanie Huml, Bavarian State Minister for Health and Care, the Institute of Diabetes Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner of the DZD, and the Diabetes Research Group of Technische Universität München at Klinikum rechts der Isar, jointly opened the new study center for the early detection of type 1 diabetes.

From left: CEO Helmholtz Zentrum München Prof. Matthias Tschöp, Bavarian Minister of Health Melanie Huml, IDF-Director Prof. Anette Ziegler, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Prof. Peter Henningsen, TUM. Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

In the study center of the Institute of Diabetes Research, the Bavaria-wide pilot project Fr1da is coordinated; it is the largest study to date on the early detection of type 1 diabetes. The screening enables all children between the ages of two and five to be examined free of charge. A new addition is the Fr1da Plus study, with which further age groups can be included in the screening and thus even more children in Bavaria can be tested for type 1 diabetes in its early stages. Furthermore, the Freder1k study examines babies up to four months old for an increased genetic risk of type 1 diabetes.

In the study center, children with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes or with early-stage type 1 diabetes and their families receive diabetes training and counseling. The aim is to prevent severe metabolic disturbances such as life-threatening ketoacidosis. Affected children and families are invited to participate in prevention studies.

Approximately 30,000 children and adolescents under the age of 19 currently suffer from the chronic metabolic disease type 1 diabetes in Germany. Every year more than 2,000 young patients are additionally diagnosed with the disease – and the trend is rising. The disease is often diagnosed in connection with severe hyperglycemia, a life-threatening metabolic condition (diabetic ketoacidosis). For those affected, it usually means a drastic change in their everyday lives. So far there is no cure. At the Institute of Diabetes Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München, research is being carried out into methods of prevention to prevent type 1 diabetes prior to its onset. The families participating in the studies make an invaluable contribution to type 1 diabetes research.