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The Children's Diabetes Centre, based at the Telethon Kids Institute, is the only paediatric research centre of its kind in Australia and aims to improve the lives of children with Type 1 Diabetes. In WA, about 120 children are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes every year, and the number is increasing.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that is triggered by the immune system attacking the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 is a non-preventable disease - the exact cause is not known and there is no cure.

People with Type 1 Diabetes require insulin therapy for life either through injections or an insulin pump and they must regularly test their blood glucose levels by pricking their fingers, or using glucose sensing devices. The aim is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible and avoid episodes of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar), which increases the risk of long-term complications.

What are the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?

Excessive drinking, frequent urination, bed wetting, weight loss, extreme tiredness, constant hunger and vomiting.

What is the Children's Diabetes Centre?

Living with this chronic and incurable disease has a major physical, emotional and financial impact on individuals and their families.  The Children's Diabetes Centre's uniquely holistic research program incorporates state-of-the-art technologies, therapies and education that are all aimed at improving the quality of life for young people with Type 1 Diabetes.

The Centre was established in 2015 by a Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and JDRF Australia and is currently involved in an international effort to develop revolutionary closed-loop ‘artificial pancreas’ technology. It first tested the system for overnight blood glucose control and is now leading an Australia-wide trial of these portable devices at home.

Other studies at the Children's Diabetes Centre are looking at preventing hypoglycaemia after exercise, food and nutrition, understanding what causes Type 1 Diabetes, new medicines and analysing trends in patient care.

Media contact: If you have a story to share, please contact Amanda Lewis at amanda.lewis@telethonkids.org.au

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