DIRECT - Innovative Medicines Initiative:
DIabetes REsearCh on patient straTification

Type 2 diabetes progression study (2.2)

The level of blood sugar control changes over time in Type 2 diabetes. This is different for different patients. For example, some people manage on just diet control or one type of tablet for many years and their diabetes does not get worse. Other people cannot control their blood sugars with diet control alone or diet control plus tablets; they get worse very quickly and need to add more treatment over time to keep their blood sugar levels under control. At the early stage of diabetes, it is not possible to know how it will progress. We hope to understand this better and to find new tests that can predict who will get worse very quickly and who will not. This will help us to plan diabetes treatment on an individual basis.

We believe that changes in the way the pancreatic beta-cells release insulin are a major factor in determining the changes in blood sugar levels over time. This project will work out how well the pancreas produces insulin after someone has had a meal. We believe that the amount of fat in the liver and pancreas might also affect this. Therefore the study has a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the liver and pancreas at the start of the study.

Studying people who have early stage Type 2 diabetes (having been diagnosed with diabetes within the last 2 years) is important. We believe that we will get the clearest picture of the changes in pancreatic beta-cell function at an early stage of the condition. This is also the time when doctors and patients try to plan longer term management of the diabetes and try to decide which treatments are best for individual patients.

For more information take a look at the Patient Information Sheets provided to participants before they join the study: