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Immune Related Tests for the Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

2012-09-29 11:38

Type 1 diabetes develops when the immune system turns on itself and destroys cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin.

Why Early Antibody Tests are Important for Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes, is a kind of autoimmune disease wherein the immune system turns on itself and destroys cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin. Scattered throughout the pancreas are beta cells called islets of Langerhans that produce the insulin your body needs to process blood sugar and survive. When roughly 90% of these beta cells have been destroyed, classic symptoms of type 1 diabetes become evident. This reduction in insulin causes blood sugar to accumulate in the blood and, if untreated, can be life-threatening.

Why early antibody tests are important for the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes?

Autoimmune persistent destruction to the pancreatic beta cells play key role in progression from a potential diabetic into a clinical obvious issue. Based on early antibody tests, Diabetes specialists emphasize the importance of immune blocking and protection treatment to likely reverse or well treat pancreatic impairment.

What are antibodies that are associated with type 1 Diabetes?

The disease process in Type 1 Diabetes is primarily caused by the destruction of pancreatic cells. Presence of beta cell or pancreatic islet cell antibodies are thought to signal a T-cell mediated immune response, which further sets the stage for beta cell destruction.

Islet cell antibodies are clinically the first antibodies that are discovered in Diabetes. However, antibodies specific to the beta cell antigens that make up the islet beta cells are more specific. Antibodies to insulin and proinsulin also occur in Diabetes. Antibodies to the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), which is found in nervous system and pancreatic cells, are also detectable. Antibodies to the islet cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (IA-2) and phogrin, are also commonly operated in labs for early diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.

Studies from North America and Europe suggests that autoantibody in Diabetes occurs in the first years of life. These antibodies may develop for many years before the development of clinical Diabetes. Further, their studies indicate that 90 percent of children with two of three antibodies---islet or beta cell antibodies, GAD antibodies and IA-2 antibodies—develop Diabetes within 10 years.

Antibody tests are recommended for those with family history and at risk for type 1Diabetes. At early stage of type 1 Diabetes, autoimmune injury has not resulted in total pancreatic ability loss, so the patients have chances to stop this process and possibly repair part of not totally failed beta cells in their pancreas. As for this, Immunotherapy technique progression has brought news to the patients.

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