Health Care

Revolutionizing Type 1 Diabetes Prevention: AdventHealth Translational Research Institute's Breakthrough Screening Effort

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The FDA's approval of Teplizumab has ushered in a new era in diabetes management. This medication promises to slow down the progression of Type 1 diabetes, offering a glimmer of hope to individuals grappling with the challenges posed by this autoimmune condition. However, the success of any medical intervention lies not only in the effectiveness of the treatment itself but also in the precision with which it is administered.

Identifying High-Risk Patients
Dr. Richard Pratley, Senior Investigator and Diabetes Program Lead at the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute, emphasizes the crucial role of identifying the right candidates for Teplizumab treatment. “This is where AdventHealth's Translational Research Institute steps in with an innovative approach. Rather than waiting for clinical symptoms to manifest, the institute is proactively launching a large-scale screening effort in Orlando,” said Dr. Pratley. The aim is to identify individuals who are at a high risk of developing Type 1 diabetes through simple finger stick blood tests. Researchers also hope it prevents patients from developing diabetes ketoacidosis at diagnosis, which is a condition associated with potentially life-threatening consequences.

A Community-Wide Endeavor
AdventHealth's Translational Research Institute is embarking on a comprehensive screening effort that spans the entire city of Orlando. The Florida Department of Health is funding a project to screen people at risk of T1D in underserved communities which includes first degree relatives of people with T1D, people with other autoimmune diseases or identify people who actually have T1D while already diagnosed at T2D.

Translational Research Institute’s Associate Investigator and Von Weller Family Chair in Type 1 Diabetes Research Anna Casu, MD is the principal investigator on this initiative and Dr. Pratley is the medical investigator. This community-wide endeavor aims to cast a wide net and identify individuals who might otherwise have gone undiagnosed until clinical symptoms emerged. Dr, Pratley believes, “By involving the local community in this proactive health initiative, the Institute is advancing medical research and fostering a sense of collective responsibility for public health.” As the Translational Research Institute spearheads this initiative, it paves the way for a future where medical interventions are more effective and preventive.

Shifting from Reaction to Prevention
Dr. Richard Pratley's insights into the proactive screening effort led by the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute underscore the transformative potential of precision medicine. By identifying high-risk individuals before the onset of clinical diabetes, the Institute is not only revolutionizing diabetes management but also setting a precedent for proactive healthcare strategies. As we look to the future, this breakthrough initiative offers a glimpse of a world where diseases are intercepted before they take hold, heralding a new era of health and well-being.

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