Research - 04.07.2024 - 16:00 

HSG and Children's Hospital of Eastern Switzerland launch research project on type 1 diabetes in children

The Children's Hospital of Eastern Switzerland (OKS) and the School of Medicine (Med-HSG) of the University of St.Gallen are collaborating on research into type 1 diabetes in children. The aim of the research collaboration is to learn more about the relationship between blood glucose fluctuations and nerve function. The results will help improve treatment and quality of life for children with the disease.
Source: HSG Newsroom
(fl.t.r.): Prof. Dr. Tobias Kowatsch (HSG), Dr. med. Philip J. Broser (OKS), Prof. Dr. med. Dagmar l’Allemand (OKS), Dr. med. Sarah S. Oberhauser (OKS), Marc-Robin Grüner (HSG) and Susanne Mäder-Duss (OKS)

The project "KIND – Investigating the Relationship between Blood Glucose Fluctuations and Nerve Vitality" will run from October 2023 until at least September 2025. The project will also be submitted to the Swiss National Science Foundation to continue the collaboration on a sustainable basis until September 2029. 

Blood glucose fluctuations affect nerve health

Not only blood glucose levels, but also blood glucose fluctuations affect the health of the nerves. This was discovered by the team led by Dr Sarah Oberhauser, Prof. Dagmar l'Allemand and Dr Philip Broser of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Switzerland (OKS) in the cross-sectional study cited below. This is the basis for the new research collaboration between the University of St.Gallen and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Switzerland. As a leader in paediatric neurophysiology in Switzerland, the OKS team is now investigating the influence of these fluctuations on the vitality of the nervous system over a defined longer period of time.

Collecting valuable data from fitness trackers 

The OKS research team is working with Marc-Robin Grüner, Dr Mia Jovanova and Prof Tobias Kowatsch from the University of St.Gallen. Together they will also use fitness trackers to collect meaningful data. For the first time, comprehensive analyses will be possible to investigate the influence of other lifestyle factors such as activity, sleep and diet on the health of the nervous system, in addition to blood glucose data. In addition to other sources of funding, the project is supported by the HSG's Health Forward Grant of 100,000 Swiss francs.

Relevance and participation in the pilot study

According to the Type 1 Diabetes Index, one in 52 families in Switzerland is affected by type 1 diabetes. The first pilot study is planned to start in 2024. Interested families can register for the study at philip.broserkispisg.ch. The research team is convinced that this project will make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life and treatment of children with type 1 diabetes.

Cross-sectional study: Sarah S. Oberhauser, Dagmar l’Allemand, Erik P. Willems, Tiziana Gozzi, Katrin Heldt, Miriam Eilers, Aikaterini Stasinaki, Jürg Lütschg, Philip J. Broser; Slowing of Peripheral Nerve Conduction Velocity in Children and Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes Is Predicted by Glucose Fluctuations. Diabetes 1 De-cember 2023; 72 (12): 1835–1840. doi.org/10.2337/db23-0063

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