Diabetes research in Thames Valley

Diabetes research in Thames Valley


Diabetes covers the usual forms of
diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, but we’re really keen
research to cover the whole broad range of both of those conditions and so we
might think particularly from diagnosis of type 1 diabetes through to different
forms of treatment, different insulins and then on the into complications and
particularly we’re looking at some of the research into diabetes – type 1
diabetes and pregnancy, I think you have type 2 diabetes again, we have studies
right the way from the beginning from diagnosis through to different forms of
treatment and trying to personalise treatment again through to
complications. We’re doing some studies on diet, type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. So
diabetes is a very profound disease, it affects every single of aspect of people’s
lives. It affects whether or not they have – what
they have for breakfast in the morning, it affects whether or not they can go for a
walk or whether they need to adjust their insulin. So it’s a filter really
through which a lot of our patients live and that can affect them physically so
they can have complications, as we know everything from their eyes to their
heart to their nerves and kidneys but it also affects them psychologically and I
think that means that whenever we do our research, we want to think about what is
the most effective treatment for our patients, but also does it relieve some
of that burden? Does it help them in their day to day burden of living with
their diabetes? Diabetes is a very expensive disease. We estimate that about
one pound in every 10 or 12 in the NHS is spent either on diabetes or
the complications of diabetes, so any research that we can do to reduce those
complications and reduce the burden financially as well as clinically would
be really important. One of the really important studies we’re working on at
the moment is immunotherapy therapy and this is a new and very exciting way of treating
people with type 1 diabetes but very early in diagnosis and so we’re one of
the best recruiters – one of the studies that has just opened and has started and
patients when they originally initially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes do
struggle sometimes because they’re often very young and they find that the whole
life ahead of them quite a daunting prospect and if we can give them some
hope I suggesting that we can modify the
disease process early on then often they’re very excited by that and will
turn and take part in research, but we also have some studies looking at
patients at the other end of the spectrum, who’ve had maybe type 2
diabetes for a long time and again they’re really struggling with
complications of the diabetes and we’ve got two studies at the moment. One a drug
study looking at peripheral neuropathy – painful peripheral neuropathy which is
very difficult to treat and trying to work out which of the number of drugs is
the best drug for those patients. One of the new studies that we’re looking to get
involved in in the next couple of months is a study again, patients with type 2
diabetes and painful peripheral neuropathy, but looking at spinal cord
stimulation to see if we can reduce the the perception of pain on these patients,
often who are quite refractory to some of the tablets that we can give to them
one of the other studies is very exciting that we’ve been very good at
recruiting into. Again its type 2 diabetes. We have a whole plethora of new
drugs that have come out over the last 5-10 years but we’re not quite sure
which patients benefit from which drugs and so this is a study trying to
personalise the right drugs to the right patients and that’s been a really good
recruiting study. I find research very exciting because research tells us a
little bit of what’s coming up in the future. Research is also about what’s
happening to our patients right now because a lot of patients will come and
they will be struggling with a diabetes they will say I can’t cope with these
complications, I can’t cope with a vast number of tablets or insulin that I’ve
got, which one is best for me? And for me the research that’s happening right now
will answer some of those questions for those patients, as I see research as
being core to what I do clinically and I also see it about giving hope for
these patients for the future.