Purchase The Faces that Live with Juvenile Diabetes Calendar and Christmas Cards

The Faces that Live with Juvenile Diabetes Calendar is an annual calendar showcasing some of the brave and beautiful children that live with Type 1 Diabetes.  Every penny of the calendar sales goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Last year’s calendar rasied over £5000 and for 2012 we have added “Peace Love and Insulin” christmas cards to the project, again with all the proceeds to JDRF.

Please help us to raise as much money as possible for JDRF by purchasing calendars and cards and helping to spread awareness of Type 1 diabetes as well as money towards research.


John Davis has now retired from INPUT

John Davis InputJohn started INPUT in 1998, and it has grown hugely. Having reached the age of 72, John feels he has taken INPUT as far as he can, and that it needs fresh ideas and fresh minds to develop further.

John looks forward to pursuing other interests including serving as Special Advisor to JDRF on CGM, working with Pop4Diabetes, and being a granddad.

Exciting developments in insulin delivery and greater use of CGM are bringing more opportunities for INPUT to make the case for diabetes management technology.
With the Advisory Group now in place, INPUT is in a strong position to build on John’s achievements and expand our activities.


JDRF – Please sign our petition and show your support

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, life threatening condition that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

At present, there is no definitive answer to what causes and how to cure type 1 diabetes. The only way for the cure for type 1 to be found is greater investment in medical research. In 2009 government funding bodies the Medical Research Council (MRC) and National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) committed £51million to research to tackle the growing problem of diabetes last year. Of this, only £6million was ‘applicable’ to type 1 diabetes.

In contrast, last year the US government spent $150 million, the Australian government committed $36million and the Canadian government $20 million on funding world class research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research in the world, is currently campaigning for increased levels of government funding to be given for type 1 research.

Please sign our petition and show your support

Infant feeding and type 1 diabetes: new clues

Researchers in Finland have uncovered a relationship between baby milk formula and the development of antibodies to type 1 diabetes in at-risk children. However, the study was too small, and the connection is so far too unclear, to say that changing babies’ diets might prevent them developing type 1.

The research team studied 230 babies who had been identified as having a genetic risk of type 1 diabetes at birth, by analysis of their cord blood. They all also had at least one family member with type 1.

The babies’ mothers were encouraged to breastfeed as usual, but when breast milk was not available, one group of the babies were given a standard cow’s milk infant formula, and the other group were given a special formula containing casein hydrolysate. This is a milk-derived product in which complex dairy proteins have been reduced to their constituent amino acids.

The babies were given the formula up to the age of eight months, after which both groups were monitored until they were 10 years old. By that time, 4% of children in the intervention group had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, compared to 8% in the control group, which is not a statistically significant difference.

However, there were significant differences in the number of children who developed antibodies that are associated with type 1: 16% of the babies who had cow’s milk formula tested positive for at least two of five significant antibodies, compared to 7% of the children who had been given the casein hydrolysate.

Professor Mikael Knip of the Hospital for Children and Adolescents and 
University of Helsinki, who led the study, says: ‘The study showed that the safe 
and simple dietary intervention applied in this pilot trial was capable of 
reducing the emergence of diabetes-predictive autoantibodies by about 50% 
by age 10 in the participants carrying increased disease risk.

‘The current 
study population does not provide sufficient statistical power to 
definitely conclude whether an intervention of this type will reduce the 
frequency of clinical type 1 diabetes, although the preliminary data are 

A full-scale trial – TRIGR (Trial to Reduce IDDM in the Genetically at R
isk) – is currently running in 77 study centers 
in 15 countries to provide a conclusive answer to the question of whether 
weaning to a highly hydrolyzed formula will reduce the cumulative 
incidence of clinical type 1 diabetes.  A total of 2,160 children have been 
randomized for TRIGR, and the first results are expected in 2013.

The researchers do not know exactly what the difference is between the 
casein hydrolysate and regular cow’s milk-based formulas; it is thought that a highly hydrolyzed formula might have a beneficial effect on gut microflora.

The full press release from the University of Helsinki can be read here, and an abstract of the paper in the New England Journal of Medicine appears here.

T cell finding builds autoimmunity picture

Researchers in Canada have identified the role of a type of T cell that might explain more about the automimmune response that can lead to Type 1 diabetes.

The research team found that children newly diagnosed with Type 1 have an increased presence of Th17 cells, a type of T cell discovered in 2005.

‘T cells are white blood cells and key members of the immune system that control infections,’ says Rusung Tan, leader of the team at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. ‘In healthy individuals, Th17 cells provide a strong defence against bacteria and viruses by guiding the immune system to strongly attack infected targets within our bodies.’

In children susceptible to Type 1 however, it is thought that Th17 might play a harmful role, as this T cell has previously been associated with other autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

‘The elevated levels of Th17 cells in type 1 diabetes patients suggest that these cells may also play a key role in the early development of this disease in young patients,’ says Tan.

The findings are published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Immunology, and the study was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The abstract of the study can be found here.

Major research resource launched in Scotland

A major research project designed to find out more about preventing Type 1 diabetes and its complications has been launched in Scotland.

Up to 10,000 people with Type 1 will be invited to take part in the study, which will take place in diabetes clinics in Aberdeen, Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy and Livingston.  Researchers on the project, known as the Scottish Diabetes Research Network (SDRN) Type 1 Diabetes Bioresource, will collect detailed information from people with type 1 as well as samples of blood, urine and DNA.

So far, studies like this have involved only a few hundred participants, but the scale  of the Scottish project should allow it to set up a data source for researchers that will lay down the foundation for many future diabetes studies worldwide.

The Bioresource is being funded by Diabetes UK and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government, which are providing more than £675,000.

The project will be supported by Diabetes Research Nurses provided by the Scottish Diabetes Research Network (SDRN), which is also funded by the Scottish Government. The Network is currently establishing a register of people with diabetes who wish to take part in research.  To find out more about the SDRN’s work, visit its website here.

DAISY study offers virus clue to Type 1

Indications that the presence of an enterovirus may play a part in children developing Type 1 diabetes have been highlighted in two recent studies published in Diabetes, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.

The DAISY (Diabetes and Autoimmunity Study in the Young) project has been running in Denver, Colorado, since 1993, and has followed 2,365 children who were genetically predisposed to islet autoimmunity and Type 1 diabetes.

In a group of 140 children who repeatedly tested positive for islet autoantibodies at an average age of four, 50 progressed to Type 1 diabetes in the next few years. Having tested all the children regularly for signs of enterovirus in their blood, the researchers found that the risk of progressing to Type 1 was significantly increased in those where enterovirus was present.

In a second study conducted by some of the DAISY team in Finland, a group of children with Type 1 diabetes were matched with a similar control group who showed genetic susceptibility but did not have Type 1. In testing for enterovirus in the blood, the study found that positive samples were more frequent in the children who had Type 1 than in those who did not. The risk effect appeared to be stronger in boys than in girls.

The researchers of both studies concluded that enterovirus infection may play a role in the development of Type 1 diabetes in susceptible children.

The connection between viruses and Type 1 diabetes has been the subject of many studies in recent years. JDRF, which has funded research into this area, stresses that having a viral infection does not ‘cause’ a child to develop Type 1. Many factors play a part, but finding out more about how viruses might affect the immune system may help identify more targets for preventing autoimmune conditions like Type 1 diabetes.

To find out more about the DAISY study, visit its website here.

Epic study of twins searches for clues

two smiling little blonde girls Twins have always been of interest to researchers into complex medical conditions like type 1 diabetes, and now Epitwin, one of the largest-ever research projects in this area, has been launched in London and China.

Epitwin, which is led by Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London and BGI, a genomic organisation based in Shenzen, China, will focus on epigenetics – the science that explores how the actions of genes may be affected by chemical reactions triggered by other factors, for example lifestyle or diet. Many researchers believe this is key to discovering why identical twins, who share the same genes, do not always develop the same diseases – and so make it easier to isolate potential targets for drug treatment.

King’s College London’s Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology (DTR) is a world leader in twins research, with a voluntary database of 12,000 identical and non-identical British twins, mostly female, between the ages of 16 and 98.

The new study, which will cost around £20 million, will analyse patterns of 20 million sites (called CpG islands) in the DNA of 5,000 identical twins, looking for minute differences that might influence the development of  conditions including obesity, allergies, heart disease, osteoporosis and longevity as well as diabetes.

‘The fact that twins are such a marvellous natural experiment, combined with the hundreds of disease details and traits on the twins that we have collected over 17 years, offer a unique study opportunity,’ says Professor Spector.

Many families with twins affected by type 1 diabetes are already involved in research projects. Last year for example Jackie Jacombs and her twin daughters (pictured above) appeared on a BBC TV documentary about a study at the University of London that is led by Professor David Leslie and funded by JDRF.

To find out more about Epitwin and the King’s College London twins database, visit the TwinsUK website.