More than £1million awarded for type 1 diabetes research at Dundee

31st August, 2011

Researchers at the University of Dundee have now received more than £1million in funding from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) following several awards in recent years.

The latest award of a five-figure sum made by the leading type 1 diabetes charity takes the total they have donated to researchers in Dundee over the million-pound mark. The money was awarded to the Dr Rory McCrimmon, Clinical Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine.

Dr McCrimmon’s research team will use the money to fund research projects into the development of treatments to minimise both the severity and frequency of hypoglycaemia, reducing the risk for people with type 1 diabetes and encouraging a more universal application of intensive insulin therapy.

Hypoglycaemia is a condition that occurs when too much insulin is released into the bloodstream which can result in dangerously low blood sugar levels. People who have type 1 diabetes and use intensive insulin therapy are therefore at a greater risk.

Intensive insulin therapy involves frequent checking of blood glucose and adjustment of insulin doses to compensate for food intake. Upwards of four insulin injections are normally required daily. This markedly reduces the risk of diabetic complications such as neuropathy and nephropathy, but is unfortunately associated with a significantly increased risk of severe hypoglycaemia.

Dr McCrimmon said, \'Hypoglycemia is now recognised as the main side effect of insulin and is something which is feared by people with type 1 diabetes. For reasons still largely unknown in type 1 diabetes the ability to detect and respond to both acute and repeated hypoglycaemia is impaired.

\'The research we are now carrying out, thanks to the funding from JDRF looks at how the brain of someone without type 1 diabetes detects and responds to incidents of hypoglycaemia and why in people with type 1 diabetes these systems are impaired. It is critical to understand why defective counter regulation occurs so that we can develop successful therapies or strategies to treat this condition.\'

Alastair Brookes, Development Manager for JDRF Scotland said, \'We are delighted to have awarded funding to Dr McCrimmon and his team. Funding new research to ultimately find the cure for type 1 diabetes is at the core of why JDRF exists.

\'Until we do find the cure - which is very much a when and not an if - we are passionate about developments in treatments which minimise the complications for people who have type 1 diabetes. We are proud that with research projects like this Scotland is fast becoming the centre for research into type 1 diabetes.\'

The team at The University of Dundee have been funded until 2014.

JDRF have a number of fundraising events planned for the rest of the year including the annual ‘Walk to cure Diabetes’ on September 4th at Aberdeen’s Hazlehead Park.

All money raised will go to funding more research across the UK.

For more information on JDRF and how to get involved in fundraising, go to www.jdrf.org.uk.

Notes to Editors

About type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, life-threatening condition that has a life-long impact on those diagnosed with it and their families. JDRF exists to find the cure for type 1 diabetes.

People with type 1 diabetes rely on multiple insulin injections or pump infusions every day just to stay alive, until we find the cure.

It normally strikes children and stays with them for the rest of their lives.

Type 1 diabetes affects about 350,000 people in the UK, 25,000 of them children.

Type 1 diabetes reduces life expectancy by about 20 years.

About hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is released into the bloodstream.

Insulin is a hormone that reduces blood sugar.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include cold sweats, convulsions, blurry vision and tiredness.

Severe hypoglycemia may result in seizures and permanent damage to the nervous system if not treated.

About JDRF
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation exists to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications, and is the world’s leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research. At a global level JDRF volunteers and staff have been responsible for raising over £850 million to support type 1 diabetes research since the charity’s inception.

www.jdrf.org.uk.


For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384768
E-MAIL: g.hill@dundee.ac.uk 
MOBILE: 07854 953277


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