In Sweden, thousands of parents have enrolled their babies in the TEDDY study, which stands for The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young. The study aims to find out what environmental and biological factors are involved in whether or not a child will develop type 1 diabetes.
So far, researchers have discovered that the auto-antibodies that attack insulin-producing cells appear in the earliest years of life, sometimes up to 10 years before the disease is actually able to be diagnosed.
This information could be key to early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in young children, which could help countless families avoid the heartbreak of severe illnesses and even deaths due to undiagnosed and untreated diabetes.
Watch the video below to hear from Cornelia and Hedwig, two young Swedish sisters who have been participants in the study since birth. They’ll explain what it’s like to be involved in this research. Then the leading researcher of the study will explain how the data points gathered from more than 250,000 children like Cornelia and Hedwig are creating a path toward earlier diagnosis systems, better treatment plans, and perhaps even a cure.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?