Understanding Unusual Diabetes – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Did you know that there are more types of diabetes than type one and type two? Type one is often diagnosed in children who have to deal with lifelong insulin injections. During this time, adults are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and are treated with drugs and injections. But thousands of people do not fall into any of these categories and are diagnosed with unusual forms of diabetes that are difficult to treat. Now, researchers hope a nationwide clinical trial will help them find new treatments.
16-year-old Raquel Gebel doesn’t let anything slow her down. Do all of this while losing your sight.
“I can tell there is a wall there, but if I didn’t hear, I didn’t know someone was in the room, I wouldn’t be able to tell you, you are sitting there, ”Raquel explained.
Diagnosed as a five-year-old with Wolfram syndrome, Raquel, with her mother by her side, has joined clinical trial after clinical trial in hopes of finding a way to stop the disease.
“As a parent you are sitting there, what are you doing with your child who cannot see or hear? Raquel’s mom, Stephanie Snow Gebel, shared.
Wolfram syndrome is often misdiagnosed as type 1 diabetes in children. Children experience the same blood sugar problems, but unlike type 1 diabetes.
“Most cases are caused by a change in a single gene,” said Dr. Fumihiko Urano, professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine.
There is now a new national clinical trial, Radiant, which is enrolling thousands of people with diabetes. The researchers hope to create a comprehensive database of genetic and clinical data, making it easier for doctors around the world to identify atypical forms of diabetes and identify new genes associated with rare forms of the disease.
“We may be able to design a personalized treatment for each diabetic patient,” Urano continued.
The ultimate goal is to improve and save the lives of people, like Raquel, living with an unusual form of diabetes.
“I really believe that soon I will be able to see again. There will be a cure, ”Raquel said.
Currently, there is no cure for Wolfram syndrome, just drugs to treat the symptoms. Most patients die before the age of 40, unless their condition is very well managed. This is why the Radiant lawsuit is so important. Nationally, the study is taking place at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, University of Chicago, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Contributors to this report are: Marsha Lewis, producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.