JDRF-Funded Study of Pancreatic Changes in Type 1 Diabetes Published in JAMA

New York, NY, December 11, 2012 - This week's edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) will feature news of an important study for JDRF, showing that people at risk of developing type 1 diabetes (T1D) have a smaller pancreas than people not at risk. The results were obtained from the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD), a study taking place at the University of Florida with funding from JDRF. The article will be available in print on December 12, 2012.

As part of the nPOD study, researchers examined the weight of the human pancreas from deceased individuals with T1D as well as those at increased risk for developing the disease. The researchers found that the weight of pancreases from these potentially pre-type 1 individuals was approximately 75 percent that of controls and that the weight of pancreases from people with T1D were roughly 50 percent that of the controls. The lower weight may be attributable to a lower number of beta cells producing insulin.  It has been suggested that insulin acts as a growth factor that maintains pancreas size.

These findings confirm a pattern that has been seen in previously published studies, but are significant in that they are the first to be measured by weight. Previous samples used ultrasound techniques to make the determinations, introducing the potential for other variables.

JDRF is excited about the potential implications of this study. It provides compelling evidence that people at risk of developing T1D may already have fewer insulin-producing cells.

To read the full press release provided by the University of Florida, including a quote from JDRF's immune therapies program director, Teodora Staeva, Ph.D., click here.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.

Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

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