A nationwide study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks to discover the cause of several unusual forms of diabetes. Further, the study aims to find new forms of diabetes, what makes them different, and identify their causes, according to a NIH press release.

The Rare and Atypical Diabetes Network (RADIANT) plans to screen approximately 2000 people with unknown or atypical forms of diabetes that do not fit the common features of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D).

A person with atypical diabetes may be diagnosed and treated for T1D or T2D but not have a history or signs consistent with their diagnosis. Alternately, an individual with atypical diabetes may respond differently than expected to the standard diabetes treatments.

RADIANT researchers will build a comprehensive resource of genetic, clinical, and descriptive data on previously unidentified forms of diabetes for the scientific and health care communities. In addition, the researchers plan to collect detailed health information using questionnaires, physical exams, genetic sequencing, blood samples, and other tests. Individuals who are found to have unknown forms of diabetes may receive additional testing, according to the press release.

“With help from participants and their families, we aim to develop a comprehensive description of the genetic and clinical characteristics of these rare forms of diabetes,” said study chair, Jeffrey Krischer, MD, director of the Health Informatics Institute at the University of South Florida (USF), in a press release. “This information could help to establish new diagnostic criteria for diabetes, find new markers for screening, or identify drug targets for new therapies that could ultimately bring precision medicine to diabetes.”

With USF as the study’s coordinating center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the University of Chicago as the lead centers, other participating centers include:
 
  • Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • Indiana University, Indianapolis
  • NorthShore University Health System, Chicago
  • SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Brooklyn
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Washington, Seattle

“The RADIANT study will further clarify diabetes as a disease that has many different forms, and for which diagnosis and management for some of those forms remain a challenge,” said Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, director of National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, in a press release. “The discoveries of the study should provide critical understanding of the spectrum of diabetes and improve lives of people with rare forms of diabetes and everyone who cares for them.” 

Recruitment for the study opened on September 30, 2020, for people with atypical diabetes or a form of diabetes that seems different from known types of diabetes. Visit atypicaldiabetesnetwork.org for more information on the study and how to join.

REFERENCE
NIH funds first nationwide network to study rare forms of diabetes. NIH. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-funds-first-nationwide-network-study-rare-forms-diabetes. Published September 30, 2020. Accessed October 1, 2020.