TAMPA - Five-year-old Hillary Platz is learning to manage her Type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed a year ago, she and her mom manage how much insulin to deliver through a pump by checking her blood sugar
With no family history, mom wanted to find out where the diabetes came from, and if her three-year-old, Emma, was also at risk. She enrolled herself and Emma in an ongoing clinical trial at USF.
The first phase is to use blood work to identify whether family members are also at risk. Heather Platz said, "We were both tested for the presence of auto-antibodies that are linked to type one and they tested for five. I came back with two, her father had none, and Emma, her little sister, had all five."
That qualified mom and sister for the next phase of the study.
Mom comes every six months to be tested. Emma, at higher risk, qualified for a prevention study.
Heather said, "She's also part of the oral insulin study, where she takes a capsule every morning." They don't know if Emma takes the real one or the placebo.
Dr. Henry Rodriguez is Hillary and Emma's doctor and the director of the USF Diabetes Center. "We're doing the expanded study to see if taking insulin by mouth, which has no effect on your blood sugar, might alter your immune system's response to insulin producing cells and hopefully delay or prevent the further destruction of those insulin producing cells and ultimately the development of type one diabetes."
The study is global and has been going on for ten years, screening over 100,000 people. But they're still looking for more families to enroll. Doctor Rodriguez says, "The anticipation is that, until we find a cure, we're going to work as a global community to find a cure for type one diabetes."
For more information on the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet study, contact:
Danille Henson, BSN, RN
USF Diabetes Center