Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that typically emerges before the age of 20, wipes out the body’s ability to produce insulin—a hormone that’s essential to life. Diagnosis often comes after symptoms arise, at which point the disease has taken hold. But if there were a way to test at-risk patients for very early signs of the disease, it may be possible to delay its onset.
In new research published in Science Immunology, scientists at Scripps Research have discovered what may be the earliest possible biological marker of type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes. If their mouse study can be replicated in humans, which they are now attempting to do, the timing of therapeutic intervention may be drastically improved for patients who are on course to develop the disease.
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