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Evidence building for possible virus link in T1D development

A new study suggests a link between enteroviruses, and the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D). This study, part-funded by JDRF, isn’t the first to find this link but the authors say it’s the largest and most definitive study of its kind to date.

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Professor Keikki HyÖty and Dr Hanna Honkanen led this study published in Diabetologia at the University of Tampere in Finland. They found that children at high risk of T1D who then go on to develop the disease, had a higher number of enterovirus infections compared to those without the disease.

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Early probiotic use could help prevent type 1 diabetes in at-risk children

Giving probiotics to babies in the first few weeks of life may lower their risk of developing type 1 diabetes, a recent study has found.

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The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics found that children who were given probiotics within the first 27 days of life had a 60% reduction in the risk of developing islet autoimmunity, compared with children who were first given probiotics after 27 days or not at all. Read More

Seasonal gene activity linked to increased winter diagnosis of T1D

Our immune systems vary with the seasons, according to a study led by the University of Cambridge that could help explain why conditions such as type 1 diabetes are more frequently diagnosed during the winter months.

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The study, funded by JDRF, the Wellcome Trust and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre was published today in the journal Nature Communications. The study shows that the activity of almost a quarter of our genes (5,136 out of 22,822 genes tested) differs according to the time of year, with some more active in winter and others more active in summer. This seasonality also affects our immune cells and the composition of our blood and fat tissue.

Scientists have known for some time that various diseases, including autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, display seasonal variation. However, this is the first time that researchers have shown that this may be down to seasonal changes in how our immune systems function. Read More

Serious life events in childhood can triple the risk of type 1 diabetes

Children who experience traumatic events such as illness, death in the family, conflict at home or other psychological stress were found to be up to three times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, a Swedish study has found.

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The study, published in Diabetologia, examined the occurrence of psychological stress and development of type 1 diabetes in over 10,000 children aged 3-14 from the All Babies in Southeast Sweden (ABIS) study. Family stress was measured using questionnaires filled out by parents about the occurrence of serious life events, parental stress, and available social support. In total, 58 children were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the study period, and of these, 59% had experienced psychological stress, compared with 30% of children that did not go on to develop type 1 diabetes. The difference was significant even when taking into account family history of type 1 diabetes. Read More