Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s immune system destroys the body’s own insulin- secreting cells. Scientists are investigating whether the progression of type 1 diabetes can be slowed by preserving the body’s own secretion of insulin, especially if effective interventions can be provided in the early stages of the disease.
In previous studies conducted in mice, GAD showed promise as a possible treatment. Scientists attempted to translate this success into human diabetes patients. In a randomized clinical trial, supported in part by the Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch, researchers gave two or three doses of three different formulations of GAD injections to 145 patients in the early stages of type 1 diabetes. They assessed the patients’ progress after one year.
Unfortunately, the GAD-based treatment was not shown to slow the loss of insulin secretion in diabetes patients (PMID: 21714999).