There are countless studies being performed with the purpose of preventing or delaying the onset of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Some studies are even looking for the cure for these chronic diseases. Here are some studies you can learn about and possibly participate in to receive free diabetes treatment and help improve the scientific knowledge of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes Studies
In an international collaboration between renowned researchers, TrialNet is conducting two different studies in an attempt to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of type 1 diabetes. The first study tests the blood work of people who have family members with type 1 diabetes to see if they have the autoantibodies that are risk markers of the disease. Children under 18 years old who don’t initially have the antibodies can be retested every year to see if antibodies have surfaced. Those who have the antibodies may be able to join the prevention study which monitors pancreas insulin production and pinpoints early development of type 1 diabetes. This study observes the possible genetic component in type 1 diabetes and the way the pancreas works in people at higher risk.
The second study is for those newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It tries to preserve insulin production in those whose pancreas has just recently stopped functioning correctly. Eligible participants will be randomly assigned to receive an experimental treatment or an “inactive” treatment. The differences in progress will help researchers to see whether the experimental treatment is successful or not and further medication developments for type 1 diabetes.
Harvard Stem Cell Research
This study is in the beginnings of the trial process. Harvard professor Dr. Doug Melton and his colleagues have successfully grown large quantities of insulin-producing beta cells from embryonic stem cells. These beta cells have been transplanted into the pancreases of mice, and even cured type 1 diabetes in immunocompromised mice. Currently, there are trials being performed on non-human primates to see how these beta cells react when transplanted into the pancreas of animals more similar to humans. Melton hopes to do human clinical trials within the next three years where the insulin-producing beta cells will be transplanted into the pancreas of diabetic patients.
These cells will then produce insulin within the body for a year or more before needing replacement. A large portion of the medical community is very enthusiastic about these findings and hopes that these beta cells can be used in place of other diabetes-management mechanisms in the near future. To learn more about the study, visit this article.
Type 2 Diabetes Studies
For those who are at risk for type 2 diabetes, Vitamin D and Type 2 Diabetes (D2d) may be a good study to participate in. The study claims that 86 million Americans, or one third of the American adult population, have prediabetes, and many of them are still at high risk for type 2 diabetes despite the implementation of lifestyle changes.
The purpose of the D2d study is to determine whether vitamin D supplementation is effective in delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes in people who are special risk for the disease. The study also observes the effects of vitamin D on glucose metabolism. Participants are randomly assigned to vitamin D supplements or a placebo and are followed for around four years to see if type 2 diabetes has developed.
The Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes (GRADE) study observes the effectiveness of taking other diabetes medications in conjunction with metformin. The researchers are trying to see which medication pairs best with metformin to control glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. Participants will take metformin and be randomly assigned to take one of four other diabetes medications. To create an incentive for the participants, all medications, doctor visits, and other diabetes healthcare will be provided at no cost. Participants are asked to continue treatment and doctor visits for four to seven years. To learn more about the GRADE study, visit this article.
The Restoring Insulin Secretion (RISE) study is recruiting obese or overweight adults and children who are at risk for type 2 diabetes or who are in the early stages of type 2 diabetes. The study’s goal is to see if aggressive glucose lowering will lead to recovery of pancreas function. Children ages 10 to 19 and adults ages 20 to 65 will be given medications like metformin, insulin, and liraglutide (in adults only) to see if early treatment can improve insulin secretion. Participants will be given their randomly assigned medications for a year. Glucose levels will be monitored during those twelve months and after the medications have stopped.