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Topic Title: Genetics of Type1 Diabetes - Trisomy21
Created On: 04/13/2009 01:10 PM
 06/02/2009 05:34 PM

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Well, it maybe that people with Trisomy21 (Down Syndrome) may hold a number of clues to understanding T1 diabetes just as they are in whole cancer field (where they are less prone to solid tumors by 10x). So a 10x increase in autoimmunity and a 10x decrease in solid tumor risk. Hmmm- has anyone studied the solid tumor rate in all people with T1D - it would be really interesting if it was significantly lower than the typical population. On the Trisomy21/DS - T1 Diabetes link here's an interesting abstract on work out of the UK on islet autoimmunity in children with Trisomy21: http://diabetes.diabetesjourna...nt/55/11/3185.abstract .
 04/13/2009 03:54 PM

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Relative to the question about trisomy 21 and type 1 diabetes … first, I did not realize that Down’s Syndrome was actually named after a person as suggested in this article (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/943216-overview) on the emedicine website. Therefore, there is no intentional actual negative connotation to the word “down.” That’s cool. Might make some parents feel a bit better about what can be perceived a horrible name to the syndrome.

Second, interestingly enough this article discusses the prevalence and cause of type 2 diabetes in trisomy 21 patients, not type 1, as it discusses “Decreased buffering of metabolic processes” and thus, increased insulin resistance. Could that be why so many affected kids I see are overweight? Or is it the chicken/egg thing? Which comes first? Weight or insulin resistance?

However, it also discusses decreased immune system function and increased incidences of hypothyroidism which is (also – like type 1) an autoimmune related disease and often goes hand in hand with type 1 diabetes. So ... decreased immune system being available for the type 1 picking?

And, if you believe like many of us do that type 1 can possibly be triggered by environmental causes (e.g. infection, chemicals, etc.) then the trisomy 21 child would be at the same increased risk as anyone who is prone to autoimmune diseases.

Did you read the article (http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/outbreak/page1) in the Globe about type 1 clusters? I grew up ½ a mile from the now defunct South Weymouth Naval Airbase. My best friend and her sister both were diagnosed of cancer (and subsequently died) when I was diagnosed with diabetes and hypothyroidism. Makes me scratch my head about environmental causes relative to lots of things. I bet if we looked harder back to that time period, we'd find more "stuff" kids my age got. And they want to build a "village" including a school on that property!

This is the only study (http://www.springerlink.com/content/j50013p438v32x80/) I can find (so far) on the correlation between trisomy 21 and type 1 … I am sure there is more info out there somewhere!
 04/13/2009 01:10 PM

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Recent reports have shown that the risk of Type1 diabetes is 10x higher for kids who have Trisomy21 (Down Syndrome). Why is that? Does anyone have any insight on this. Seems that if this can be figured out, it will help all kids w/ T1.

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