World Diabetes Day is 14th November every year (marking Sir Frederick Banting’s birthday – the scientist who is most famously credited for discovering insulin).
On this day in 2023, Diabetes Australia launched a campaign “Diabetes Research Changes Lives”. Type1Screen’s Dr John Wentworth features in their promotional video talking about the home testing kit for type 1 diabetes screening.
Children identified with type 1 diabetes through a public health screening program tend to have a less severe form of the disease when symptoms emerge.
The Fr1da study group, based in Germany, aimed to see if diagnosing type 1 diabetes in children before they showed symptoms, and providing education and monitoring, could make the condition less severe when symptoms eventuated. Researchers compared two groups: one previously diagnosed early with screening (the Fr1da group), with one diagnosed without screening (often in DKA or ketoacidosis meaning life threateningly high blood sugar levels due to a lack of insulin production).
The screened group had better outcomes at the onset of clinical type 1 diabetes. This exhibited as lower blood sugar levels, lower doses of insulin, and fewer cases of severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). An important observation was the higher fasting C-peptide concentrations and reduced need for insulin therapy in the Fr1da cases, indicating a higher beta cell reserve.
Their findings suggests that early diagnosis, with proactive education and monitoring, can make a significant difference in how children experience the onset of type 1 diabetes.
So you have a family member diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and you’ve heard about the new and easy finger prick blood spot test you can do at home. This test will help to assess your, or your child’s, risk for type 1 diabetes.
OK, it sounds easy, but can I really do it myself at home?
Dr John Wentworth will show you how in this short video.
The Australasian Type 1 Diabetes Immunotherapy Collaborative (ATIC) officially launched at the Australasian Diabetes Congress in Brisbane on the 10th August 2022.
What is ATIC?
The Australasian Type 1 Diabetes Immunotherapy Collaborative (ATIC) is a clinical trials network of adult and paediatric endocrinologists, immunologists, clinical triallists and members of the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community.
Immunotherapies have been shown to blunt the immune attack on the pancreas that occurs in people with type 1 diabetes. ATIC’s work will discover the safest and most effective immunotherapy treatments.
The ATIC team are working across six domains with the bold vision to fast-track immunotherapy treatment options for people with type 1 diabetes.
Clinical Trials: Implement immunotherapy trials for type 1 diabetes
Community Engagement: Ensure ATIC’s work meets the needs of people living with type 1 diabetes
Pre-clinical & Translation: Help transform scientific discoveries into effective treatments
Data management: Facilitate data driven research
Education and training around the fundamentals of immunotherapy, and the latest research on its use in type 1 diabetes
Advocacy, regulation and government: Drive regulatory approval and government funding of immunotherapy treatments for type 1 diabetes.
ATIC facilitates immunotherapy clinical trials across a network of leading clinical trial centres. ATIC can advise on mechanisms for obtaining trial funding, assist with initial ethics approvals, oversee trial conduct, and support participant recruitment efforts to ensure clinical trials are delivered on time and within budget.
Parents, Brooke and James Henderson, provide the Type1Screen Team with an account of what the soon-to-be introduced Diabetes in Schools Program means to them…
The recent announcement of Diabetes Australia’s Diabetes in Schools Program is a welcome change to the education currently provided to educators. It will provide information, training and support for schools and families to better support their children. Many parents and teachers find school a stressful situation. For parents, it is leaving your child in the hands of someone who is not medically trained or adequately prepared to look after their diabetes. For teachers, it is the stress of constantly supporting the medical condition of a student, whose health status can change very quickly. First aid courses provided by schools do not adequately provide enough information or training for staff who have the responsibility of caring for a child with diabetes. With this program being launched into schools from May 2020, all this will change.
When our son Jack was diagnosed, I was very afraid to leave him at school. I was still trying to get my head around the situation and this huge life change, and the thought of leaving him with a teacher with little education of his needs was terrifying. Fortunately for us, my son’s school has a full-time nurse, and she has been amazing in supporting Jack and assisting him medically. Unfortunately, not all parents are as lucky as us. I have heard of many cases of teachers not adequately supporting their students with diabetes; not due to lack of concern, but lack of education.
As teachers ourselves, we are very aware of the duty of care we are legally obligated to provide students under our care. Prior to this program being introduced, information given to staff at schools was minimal and seemed to be solely reliant on parents providing resources to classroom teachers. School management plans have improved since Jack’s diagnosis. However, there is still not enough information to adequately supervise, care and treat a child with diabetes. Many parents are required to attend school to inject insulin, go on excursions and school camps, to reassure them that their child is receiving the constant care needed.
With this training introduced, all staff, teachers and parents will be provided with valuable information to improve their knowledge and care of children with type 1 diabetes. The opportunity to have qualified medical staff attend the school and speak with the staff of a newly diagnosed child is fantastic. I would have loved this to have been available when Jack was diagnosed in 2014. Being new to it ourselves at the time, it was very challenging educating his teachers when we were still learning all about it ourselves. We have spent the past 6 years educating ourselves and others around us about diabetes. Jack has worked hard to remove stereotypes associated with it, and to better educate his peers so they understand how having diabetes has affected his life, but not defined who he is. Jack is hypo unaware and we are fortunate to have a government funded CGM, which provides even more support and peace of mind, particularly when he is sleeping, or not in our care.
The introduction of the Diabetes in Schools Program is certainly a step in the right direction. Teachers and staff will receive the education they require, through the resources on the site, the modules they can complete and the individualised face-to-face training they have the option to receive. With this being a nation-wide program, it means that information and training provided will be consistent across Australia, and not vary from state to state. I will be recommending my school to invest in it and better educate their staff by utilizing this new online program.