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Aurora magazine

A genetic test identifies diabetes at birth

Researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered how to diagnose type 1 diabetes in infants. The discovery could lead to the development of an ad hoc genetic test for early diagnosis. In this way it will be easier to identify the children most at risk, even in the absence of cases in the family.

Many children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have never had cases in the family. This makes it more difficult to carry out a specific prevention path for them. The risk of complications related to late diagnosis also increases, some of which are very serious. The genetic test in development, however, would allow you to immediately find who runs the greatest risk of getting sick.

The researchers analyzed data collected in 10 years from two cohorts of children with type 1 diabetes. Thanks to the analyzes, they identified a detectable gene expression within the first year of life. Combined with a genetic risk score, it allows to evaluate the chances of getting sick. This expression is useful for identifying those who, despite having a low score, develop diabetes anyway.

Keeping diabetic children monitored immediately reduces the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a medical emergency. In children under control the incidence is 5%, compared to 40% of unmonitored children.