What is the TEDDY Study?
The TEDDY study, which stands for The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young, is looking for the causes of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). T1DM used to be called childhood diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.
Research shows that children who get diabetes have certain kinds of genes. Children who have these genes are at higher risk for getting diabetes. However, not all children who are at a higher risk get diabetes. The TEDDY study suggests that something happens to trigger a child with higher risk genes to get diabetes. The TEDDY study’s purpose is to find out what these triggers are that cause children to get diabetes.
What happens in the screening?
The screening process is very simple. When your baby is born, the hospital will take a small blood sample for routine testing. This is done for all new babies. A small portion of this sample can be used to do the screening. If the sample is not obtained from the hospital, and your baby is less than 3 months old, it’s not to late to get a sample. It’s normal to ask a few questions about your family for the study. You should get your baby’s test results in 6-8 weeks.
By doing this screening, you will learn if your child has a higher genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Most of the new cases of type 1 diabetes occur in children who have no family history of the disease.
If your child is at a higher risk of getting type 1 diabetes, you and your baby can join the second part of the study. In this part of TEDDY, your family will learn about your child’s risk of type 1 diabetes and the early signs of the disease. Finding diabetes early can prevent serious illness and complications.
Even if your child has a higher genetic risk, it does not mean that they will definitely get diabetes. Most children in TEDDY will never develop diabetes. Every child in the study helps move the study closer to preventing and finding a cure for this disease.