Finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes
‘Type 1’ diabetes represents about 5-10% of all cases and is most commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which is usually weight–related, Type 1 occurs when the body's own immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Currently, Type 1 sufferers must receive daily insulin injections and must carefully monitor their diet and lifestyle to avoid long-term complications.
Several lines of research are now being pursued to gain a greater understanding of the origins and pathology of Type 1 diabetes and to elucidate its causal cellular and molecular mechanisms.
The TONECA Coordination Action brings together 28 leading European centres of expertise in the field of clinical and experimental Type 1 diabetes research, gathering the best available technical skills, innovative approaches and comprehensive research strategies.
Showing the way forward
This unique partnership represents an important asset for Europe and the world, supporting and promoting advanced research and technological development initiatives aimed at finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Specific research topics include:
- Mechanisms of pancreas cell death;
- Impact of environmental factors upon the genetically based regulation and progression of Type 1 diabetes;
- Use of established and new animal models to unravel molecular mechanisms; and
- Role of the cellular immune system in the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes.
TONECA partners represent 11 EU countries and believe the project can make a difference, perhaps making it possible, one day, to detect the underlying causes of Type 1 diabetes mellitus and to identify new targets for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.