The Australian Childhood Diabetes DNA Repository (ACDDR, or The Repository) aims to assist researchers to identify genes that increase the risk of diabetes.
As you will be aware, diabetes is a devastating disease that affects over 3% of all Australians (ABS National Health Survey 2004-2005 [2.0MB, PDF] ). There are two main forms of diabetes: type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an immune response that goes wrong. We do not know what causes this to happen, but we do know that children who get diabetes have certain genes which make them susceptible.
We are also including children with child-onset type 2 diabetes (cT2D) because this disease is increasing alarmingly. T2D has many environmental factors such as diet and exercise. So, we believe it is important that we research this disease in children.
To battle diabetes and find a cure, researchers are trying to identify genetic risk factors that determine your family's risk of developing diabetes. Researchers can find these genes by testing DNA from people with diabetes. Unfortunately, collecting DNA samples for genetic research is both time consuming and costly. This is where the Repository can help.
The Repository aims to collect the DNA from 3000 Australian families affected by diabetes. Each family consists of the child with diabetes as well as his/her biological parents. This 'trio' family will allow researchers to look at genetic links between diabetes, as well as other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid and coeliac disease.
The ACDDR was established and is supported by the NHMRC Enabling Program. We also acknowledge The Diabetes Research Foundation and Diabetes WA.