Protein analysis 'could help to detect diabetes development risk'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

A new study has highlighted the potential role played by a blood-borne protein in indicating a child's risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University are conducting a study that aims to examine how levels of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) protein can signify that children will soon contract the condition.

Preliminary evidence from the trial, which will be conducted over three years, suggests that low levels of IL-1ra demonstrates a reduction in inflammation control within the body, which means that its insulin-producing cells may be about to be attacked by the immune system.

It is hoped that confirmation of this concept could lead to the development of preventative treatments, as well as proving useful in monitoring other inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Last month, US researchers published data demonstrating the role played by nicotine in increasing the risk of serious diabetes-related health complications experienced by smokers with the disease.

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