I had my birthday last week, and the way I celebrated it was to attend a JDRF Symposium a few hours drive away from my home here in Quebec in the province next door, Ontario.
What a blast – being with others that are wishing to find a CURE* for T1D's (Type 1 Diabetics). What I found the most interesting, that at this symposium they were discussing research aimed at older T1D’s – not just the younger ones which has always seemed to be the research topic discussions in the past at the symposiums I have attended over the years. They are looking ahead – at those of us who were young T1D’s at some point in our life (I was diagnosed in the 60’s) – and living our lives to the fullest with all the new research and innovations – while we wait for that CURE.
Doctor Irene Hramiak from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) was the research doctor that night who presented her role in a project called REducing With MetfOrmin Vascular Adverse Lesions in Type 1 Diabetes (REMOVAL). The aim is to test whether 3 years treatment with metformin added to insulin therapy to reduce thickening of the arteries and prevent cardiovascular disease in T1 diabetics. Heart disease is one of the many problems that diabetics can develop over the years due to the ups and downs of our blood sugar and diabetes control – not all of us can attain a purrfect 4.5-6% A1C that a non-diabetic has.
The study will be monitoring the thickness of the arteries in the neck, which is a marker used to predict the risk of future heart attacks and strokes (and yes, while she was talking about this, I was touching my fingers around my neck). Also, the study will test the drug’s effects on the control of diabetes and treatment. One of the small drawbacks of the recepient being on the actual Metformin maybe stomach discomfort and/or diarrhea (which one of my Ottawa friends who is going on this project says might help them lose weight as well as get better control of their A1C).
For those that do partake, of course they'll either be on the drug or they won't, and will be clossely monitored to ensure that they stay in good control (that would be my greatest concern as a test guinea pig). The criteria fo taking part in this tudy is that you have to be over 40 years of age, had diabetes for more than 5 years or more, with an A1C above 7% but under 10%. There is other criteria in order to take part in this trial which you can find at this link. Note that this trial is being conducted in the UK, Australia, Denmark, and the Netherlands and they maybe recruiting as we speak (for Canadians - the deadline is rapidly approaching for participants as they hope to start in the next few months).
* When I posted about attending this symposium last week on Facebook a few long time T1D's like myself got their feathers a wee bit ruffled (very attractive to a bird loving cat like myself I might add). They were disillusioned by JDRF's promise of “a cure will be found in 5 years”. That is perhaps an old statement they used many moons ago but so far over the years I've attended JDRF symposiums there are no longer make promises made like that. JDRF's goal all along has been to, and I quote - " improve the lifes of every person affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing the disease."