Type 1 Diabetes Family Study

Max Mcgee Research Center Type 1 Diabetes Family StudyType 1 diabetes is a disease that happens when the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach) makes little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone (chemical) released by a pancreatic beta cell which is needed for uptake of sugars (e.g. glucose, the main type of sugar in the blood) into body tissues for energy production. This energy fuels the body’s functions. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in the blood. Over time, increased glucose in the blood can lead to serious problems with the heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.

The purpose of this study is to gain more information about the step-by-step process that causes someone to develop type 1 diabetes. Scientists think that a person’s own immune system, directed by genetic and environmental factors play a major role in its development. The Max McGee National Research Center for Juvenile Diabetes, affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, is using a genetic approach to try to better understand the step-by-step mechanisms that cause the destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas leading to diabetes. The more information scientists have, the better they can design studies to find possible treatment and prevention options for type 1 diabetes. But first, this study, Genetics of Autoimmunity in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus may help us find more information about the disease.

Does someone in your family have type 1 diabetes?
If so, your family may be eligible to participate in our study to help us learn more about the causes of type 1 diabetes. If you would like to help, here’s how to get started:

  • We are looking for families which include a child with type 1 diabetes, brothers, sisters and parents. Adults with type 1 diabetes, their children and spouses are also needed.
  • If your family fits either description, you may complete our screening questionnaire. You can download, print and complete the paper copy.

Type 1 Diabetes Family Study Screening Questionnaire (PDF)

  • Return completed form by mail or fax to:

Family Study Coordinator
Max McGee National Research Center for Juvenile Diabetes
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-6663 (Fax)

  • Once we receive your completed form, a study coordinator will contact you and provide more information about study participation OR you may contact study coordinator:

(414) 955-4903 | T1dinfo@mcw.edu

Participation involves:

  • A visit to Children’s Hospital of WI by immediate family members to donate a blood sample for genetic analysis and measurement of immune system responses associated with type 1 diabetes
  • Completion of a family medical history questionnaire
  • Measurement of height and weight
  • Possible follow-up: "at-risk" family members may be asked to give an additional blood sample once or twice a year for up to 10 years

If you don’t have type 1 diabetes in your family, you can still help.
We need healthy kids and adults to participate as “control subjects” or a comparison group. Control subjects provide an essential comparative sample to diabetic subjects. Answer the following questions to find out if you are eligible to participate:

  • Are you older than age 39?
  • Have you ever been told that you have diabetes of any kind?
  • Do you have any close relatives (parents, brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles, nieces/nephews or grandparents) with type 1 diabetes?
  • Do you have any other known autoimmune diseases or conditions?

(Includes: Addison’s Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis (Marie-Strümpell Disease), Anterior Uveitis (Iritis), Autoimmune Polyendocrine Syndrome (APS), Autoimmune Thyroid Disease (such as Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s), Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis), JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Myasthenia Gravis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus.)

If you answered No to all of these questions, you may be eligible to participate.

Participation involves a visit to Children’s Hospital of WI, answering some medical and family history questions and giving a blood sample of 50 ml (about 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon). You will receive a gift certificate for your time and travel.

Please contact a study coordinator at (414) 955-8486 or jkramer@mcw.edu to participate.