From North Carolina, USA:
We have three daughters, ages 6, 3 and 1. The 3 year old was diagnosed about 10 months ago with Type 1 diabetes. My father and his brother both have Type 1 Diabetes. Would you recommend the other children having the test to check their antibodies, or is there anything to it?
There is actually quite a lot involved with being testing for Islet Cell Antibodies. I would certainly suggest having the test done, but be sure you speak with the center that is doing the testing to be sure you understand the DPT-1 study fully.
Additional comments from Dr. O'Brien:Your two unaffected daughters each have an approximately 1 in 20 chance of showing a positive antibody test. To give this a more optimistic perspective, they have a roughly 95% chance of being negative.
On the advisability of getting the test done, opinions vary a good deal. My own is, rather emphatically, that the reassurance of a negative result is substantial and that even if the result is positive it offers the chance to participate in the DPT-1 (Diabetes Prevention Trial). However this trial not only has a fairly demanding protocol; but there is a 50% chance of being allocated to the 'control' group. Some physicians also feel that it is wrong to make use of the DPT-1 laboratory facilities simply as a screening opportunity without an intention to participate if positive. In these circumstances you would probably want to talk over with your middle daughter's doctor exactly what taking part would involve. And certainly your 6 year old should a casting vote on whether or not she should be tested.
A central telephone number that might give you more information on antibody testing is 1-800-425-8361. The antibody test can also now be done through a commercial laboratory in the US.
Original posting 9 Oct 1998
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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