The start was the autumn meeting of the German Diabetes Society on November 6-7, 2015, in which DZD scientists held lectures on current diabetes research, risk factors, preventive measures, treatment options, and sequelae of diabetes. Among other topics, the discussion focused on whether diabetes mellitus may be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer and the importance of non-alcoholic fatty liver for the development of diabetes. “Diabetes is meanwhile understood as a complex disease in which various organs of the body are involved and which must be considered from different perspectives,” said Professor Martin Hrabě de Angelis, speaker and member of the DZD Executive Board and director of the Institute of Experimental Genetics at Helmholtz Zentrum München.
Interdisciplinary cooperation is important
The central public event in conjunction with World Diabetes Day under the motto “Managing Diabetes Together” took place on November 8th in the Congress Center Düsseldorf. Professor Michael Roden, member of the DZD Executive Board and scientific director of the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf (DDZ), emphasized in his opening speech: “To contain the diabetes epidemic, interdisciplinary collaboration and personalized strategies for prevention and treatment are important.”
In talks before an audience of patients, numerous DZD experts presented current results from diabetes research and provided practice-relevant information.
On the topic of diabetes prevention, Professor Karsten Müssig of the DDZ presented the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit.”, which was recently awarded the Prevention Prize for Children and Adolescents by the German Obesity Society. The participating elementary school students receive nutrition lessons geared to kids and exercise programs with exciting excursions.
In Bavaria a screening is already available for the early detection of type 1 diabetes. Dr. Katharina Warncke of Helmholtz Zentrum München explained how within the framework of the Fr1da study, autoantibodies can be detected as prognostic biomarkers of type 1 diabetes.
PD Dr. Thomas Meissner of Düsseldorf University Hospital presented practical tips for patients who already have been diagnosed with manifest type 1 diabetes. Dr. Julia Szendrödi of the DDZ gave a talk on intelligent insulins, which meanwhile provide good treatment for both type 1 and advanced type 2 diabetes.
Professor Michael Roden spoke about the role of obesity and fatty liver in the development of type 2 diabetes, and PD Dr. Michael Hummel of Helmholtz Zentrum München explained that gestational diabetes also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Experts available for personal questions
A special highlight for the visitors was to meet the experts at the DZD stand to discuss personal questions. In addition, there they could determine their personal risk of developing diabetes with the DIfE - GERMAN DIABETES RISK TEST® and learn about research in the DZD at interactive stations.
The DZD partners Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Diabetes Center Düsseldorf were also represented there. They presented the German Diabetes Information Service and the Regional Innovation Network Diabetes (RIN Diabetes).
Activities during Diabetes Week
The event was organized by diabetesDE – Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe [diabetesDE – German Diabetes Aid] together with the self-help organization Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe – Menschen mit Diabetes [German Diabetes Aid – People with Diabetes] (DDH-M) under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Health. The kick-off event of the Düsseldorf Diabetes Week was Patients’ Day: From November 8-14 activities related to the topic of diabetes will be offered. On November 10th an event will take place in the DDZ on Diabetes and Depression. Scientific knowledge and short prose will be juxtaposed in a lecture by Professor Karsten Müssig and a short story reading by Sven-André Dreyer.