What are the advantages of having my child tested?

Type 1 diabetes affects 1 in every 250 children born in the UK every year. It’s incurable and insulin replacement therapy brings many serious life-long challenges for patients and their families. Numerous trials of potentially therapeutic agents have been tried and failed in patients already diagnosed with the disease. Our alternative approach is to try to prevent the root causes of the disease long before insulin dependency and clinical diagnosis. Because type 1 diabetes is strongly inherited we can identify those newborn children at greatest risk of the disease by genetic testing. About 1 in 100 babies will have a risk of developing type 1 diabetes later in life – that is 25 times higher than the general population, increasing the risk from 1 in 250 (as in the general population) to 1 in 10. We will invite these ‘1 in 100’ children to take part in the prevention trial (POInT). We won’t take an extra blood sample, just using the blood spots collected routinely by the NHS as part of the ‘heel prick’ test taken a few days after birth.