Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic. It is believed that by 2030 the number of people with the disease will exceed 520 million. Besides the great personal suffering, the disease entails major costs to society. Diabetes is not just one but several diseases, of which the most well-known are type 1, type 2, LADA and MODY. There are major differences between the different types of diabetes.
- In type 1 diabetes, which comprises around 10 per cent of cases, the body’s own immune system attacks the cells that produce the hormone insulin. When the body no longer has any insulin-producing cells left, insulin must be injected several times a day.
- Type 2 diabetes comprises around 90 per cent of cases and entails a reduced ability to respond to insulin. The causes of type 2 diabetes are partially hereditary and partially a result of poor diet and lack of exercise. The treatment is improved diet and exercise, sometimes in combination with medication.
Diabetes can lead to serious complications such as blindness, amputation, kidney problems and nerve damage.
Diabetes research at Lund University
The research on diabetes spans a wide area, and scientists at Lund University study everything from genetic factors and how they interact with environmental factors to disease mechanisms in the insulin-producing cells and surrounding tissue.
Lund University Diabetes Centre
Research takes place in various parts of Lund University, but the majority of the research groups are affiliated with Lund University Diabetes Centre.
Lund University and Uppsala University are responsible for the Swedish Government’s strategic research area for diabetes, Exodiab. The aim is to establish leading national expertise and to develop world-class research.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes develops when the body can no longer produce or absorb insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels after a meal. Long-term high blood sugar leads to serious complications, while low blood sugar can quickly lead to a coma and even death.
Symptoms of diabetes:
- Abnormal thirst – drinking a lot
- Passing urine more often than usual
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN DIABETES RESEARCH?
Film clips diabetes research on YouTube
- Challenges to diabetes research in Sweden – EXODIAB joint strategic research initiative
- Striving for a cure for diabetes – research at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University
Lund University researchers describe different areas of challenge within diabetes research: