TYP 1 DIABETES
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease which requires constant vigilance and treatment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 Days a year. A person suffering from Type 1 diabetes needs to inject insulin 6 times a day on average. That comes to more than 2000 injections every year.
The most common serious and life threating disease
Type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents in Sweden is by far the most common serious and life threating disease, only Finland have more cases in the world (and it’s increasing globally).
DIFFERENT TO TYPE 2
Though each type has high blood sugar as a common denominator, Type 1 diabetes is a very different disease than Type 2. In Type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin. In Type 2 diabetes the ability to produce insulin is not completely lost but the amount of insulin is not enough for the body’s needs. It depends mainly on two things:
– the body is not capable to produce enough with insulin when the blood sugar increases after e.g. a meal.
– the cells ability to use the available insulin is reduced, which means that it requires a larger amount of insulin to “open” the cell so it can receive the sugar in the blood.
Habits are also seen as an important factor in the development of Type 2 diabetes where environmental factors such as diet, excess body weight and inactivity are seen to play significant contributing roles in its onset. Type 2 diabetes is more genetically driven than Type 1 which is contrary to what many think.
The Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation
Barndiabetesfonden, The Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation, was founded in January 1989 when the famous Swedish author Astrid Lindgren contacted Professor Johnny Ludvigsson and offered to financially support research on diabetes in children and adolescents. Professor Ludvigsson then founded the foundation which has only one very clear aim “to support research with the aim to prevent, cure or alleviate diabetes in children and adolescents”.
As >98% of diabetes in children and adolescents in Sweden is of the Type 1 variety, Barndiabetesfonden has become the foundation concentrating its efforts to support research on Type 1 diabetes, which is relevant also for adults suffering from the same disease.
Today, the Foundation grants SEK 10 million to research annually, but that is only a very small part of what is needed. It also announces two science awards of a combined total of SEK 300.000 each year, to promote the research of scientists who have made significant contributions to the research area of diabetes among the young. The awards are ”The Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation’s Johnny Ludvigsson-prize for excellent research in childhood and adolescent diabetes”, and ”The Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation’s Johnny Ludvigsson-prize to a young researcher in Sweden”.
Johnny Ludvigsson, MD, PhD is a full Professor of Pediatrics, Linköping University. He performed the first immune intervention ever in the late 1970s in an effort to stop ”the civil war” i.e. the auto immune reaction. The reaction means the immune system mistakenly target and destroy its own cells (insulin producing beta cells). Since then he has participated in many different interventions but never succeeded. No one in the world has succeeded.
He has made more than 430 scientific publications in e.g. Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
In 2017 a small pilot study in which researchers attempted to slow attacks mounted by the immune system on insulin-producing cells in Type 1 diabetes has given promising results. The study by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine (a preliminary report). As a result, a larger study has started in Czechia, Spain and Sweden.
Johnny Ludvigsson was the first pediatrician ever as Honorary member of European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1923 was awarded jointly to Frederick Grant Banting born in Canada and John James Rickard Macleod born in Scotland for the discovery of insulin. www.nobelprize.org
Almost 100 years later what causes Type 1 Diabetes is still a mystery but there are promising studies… And we can all help…!