Pål Njølstad says: “Childhood diabetes infers a great burden on affected children and their parents due to complicated and painful treatment, and the development of diabetes-associated complications. In many clinics around the world, children with diabetes are generally thought to suffer from type 1 diabetes, not further investigated, and treated with insulin for life. Recent advances in genetics indicate that many children with apparent type 1 diabetes may suffer from a genetic subtype of diabetes which may mean oral drugs are better than insulin injections.
In this study we will use new genetic tools to identify rare genetic variants in childhood diabetes, to shed light on their functional role in cell models, and to use this information for improved treatment of children with diabetes. Children carrying mutations in genes involved in insulin secretion will be tested whether they can switch treatment from insulin to sulfonylurea tablets, thus providing safe, painless, and personalized treatment.”