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Study examining role of genetics and environment in type 1 diabetes
Date:2/25/2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. Another 200 newborns in Georgia and Florida with high-risk genes for type 1 diabetes will be enrolled over the next year in a long-term study to determine how genetics and environment cause the disease.

A $10 million, five-year grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health will enable the additional enrollment as well as ongoing monitoring of participants from the two states in The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young, or TEDDY, study, says Dr. Jin-Xiong She, director of the Medical College of Georgia Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine and TEDDY principal investigator.

Nearly 66,000 newborns from Georgia and Florida already have been screened and 700 enrolled in the international effort that also includes research sites in Colorado and Washington as well as Finland, Sweden and Germany. Worldwide about 360,000 newborns will be screened and 7,800 enrolled.

Newborns are first screened for two of the highest-risk genes for type 1 diabetes, HLA-DR and HLA-DQ, and those enrolled are followed for 15 years, through the peak ages of development of the disease in which the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Children have their blood examined for the earliest sign of attack at multiple visits with study coordinators each year. Parents also keep detailed records of what their children eat, when they get sick or vaccinated and bring in water samples, fingernail clippings and stool samples as part of the effort to piece together the genetic and environmental causes of type 1.

"You really have to look at the progression of the disease longitudinally," says Dr. She, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Genomic Medicine. "Without the dedication of the participating families, we could not do this. It's a huge commitment. They are trying to do everyth
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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