A substantial proportion of patients with non-insulin requiring diabetes progress to insulin therapy. Many cases, despite being adults, have immune and genetic features of autoimmune type 1 diabetes. Such adult autoimmune non-insulin requiring diabetic patients probably comprise the majority of cases of autoimmune diabetes in Europe and their condition is described as latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA). This proposal aims:
1 ) to define the prevalence of LADA across Europe by testing non-insulin requiring diabetes patients for antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase;
2) to characterise LADA in terms of genetic, immune and metabolic features, and
3) to prevent or delay progression to insulin dependence in LADA using a immune modulation therapy with a heat shock protein altered peptide (Diapep 277). The double-blind randomised prevention trial will determine in a group of recent onset LADA patients whether therapy with Diapep277 can modify the natural history of the disease. Such therapy, if successful in reducing progression to insulin dependence, could be used to prevent autoimmune type 1 diabetes in children.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
SL7 1HY Marlow,bucks
BT12 6BA Belfast