£90,000 awarded to diabetes research
Press release issued: 18 March 2003
Almost £90,000 has been awarded to Bristol University by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to fund a study that will support JDRF's ultimate goal - a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Juvenile or type 1 diabetes currently affects 350,000 people in the UK and across Europe incidences are increasing by 3-4% every year in children under 15. People with type 1 diabetes must test their blood at least six times every day and are dependent on insulin injections to stay alive. However insulin does not stop the long term effects of diabetes, which include blindness, limb amputations, strokes and heart disease.
Scientists based in the University's Department of Biochemistry hope to ascertain the method by which glucagon, the key hormone responsible for opposing the metabolic effects of insulin, is released and controlled by islet alpha-cells. A new understanding of how this happens could prove vital in the fight against type 1 diabetes, by contributing to the development of new therapies. It is hoped that these will prevent and reverse complications associated with high glucose levels in people with the illness.
Professor Guy Rutter from the University commented: 'We are hopeful that, in the future, the findings from our study will make a real difference to the lives of people with diabetes, especially those with type 1 diabetes who suffer from hypoglycemic episodes where glucagons release can be abnormal. JDRF funding makes it very much easier for us to pursue this research and we are grateful for the charity's ongoing support.'
The funding is part of £5 million currently being spent this year by JDRF on diabetes research across the UK. Local people in Bristol made a significant contribution to the fund-raising campaign through their highly successful 'Walk to Cure Diabetes' event held in Bristol last August, which raised £50,000.