New DKA Research incorporates Patient Partners at All Levels
In December, Diabetes Action Canada member Dr. Bruce Perkins and his collaborators were awarded a Diabetes Canada End Diabetes: 100 Award.
Their project, which will incorporate Patient Partners at all levels, looks at ways to reduce and prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in type 1 diabetes. The research team will work to identify factors that may increase the risk of DKA, define ways that people with diabetes can mitigate DKA and then create an educational tool to help increase awareness around factors that can reduce risk. The team will then test the tool to ensure it is effective and helpful.
Because DKA is a common and potentially deadly complication in type 1 diabetes, this project is particularly important to those living with diabetes and to their caregivers and health care providers. For Perkins, it also offers the opportunity to continue his work looking at the potential for using a newer form of drug therapy called sodium glucose transport inhibitors (SGLTis) in those with type 1 diabetes. Currently, the therapy is being used with much success in those with type 2 diabetes, but the risk of DKA has meant it is not available for those with type 1 in North America.
“Despite improvements in monitoring and treatment over the last 100 years, DKA continues to be an ongoing and very frightening issue for people living with type 1 diabetes,” says Perkins. “This means that new therapies and medications, like SGLTis, which have shown the potential for positive outcomes are not currently available for those with type 1. Our study will look at ways to help everyone with diabetes reduce the risk of developing DKA and potentially open the door for new drug therapies in the future.”
In addition to the Perkins lab, a Diabetes Action Patient Partner, Doug Mumford, will be a co-lead on the project. Diabetes Action Canada researcher, Dr. Noah Ivers, will also be a collaborator, helping to support the development of the educational tool and its implementation. It is anticipated that a large number of patient co-researchers will be involved throughout the project to ensure the outcome meets the needs of the type 1 diabetes community.