Press Release

Diabetes Research
14.11.2019

“LASST UNS ÜBER 1 REDEN“: New campaign drives dialogue on type 1 diabetes

Starting November 10th, the Institute for Diabetes Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München is carrying out a dialogue campaign titled “LASST UNS ÜBER 1 REDEN” to mark World Diabetes Day 2019 (14 November). The aim is to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes in the general public and to continue promoting a dialogue on all aspects of the autoimmune disease. The campaign follows an awareness campaign of the “A World Without 1” research initiative, which already reached millions of people across Germany in spring 2019 with large-scale posters and info screens.

©Helmholtz Zentrum München / Achim Lippoth

Type 1 diabetes is relatively unknown to most people despite the annual increase in the number of patients. On the one hand, this means that common symptoms such as severe thirst, increased urination or fatigue are rarely recognised and many cases are only diagnosed by a life-threatening metabolic disorder. Few people are also aware of possibilities for early detection through large-scale screening studies. On the other hand, patients with type 1 diabetes often experience prejudices and lack of understanding from others and repeatedly struggle with social obstacles.

Sharing and discussing experiences

Therefore, the campaign “LASST UNS ÜBER 1 REDEN” on the occasion of World Diabetes Day 2019 (14 November) is intended to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and various aspects of the disease, such as early diagnosis and prevention studies. Banners will be displayed on numerous major online platforms. On the website of the research initiative “A World Without 1”, patients such as the former “Bachelor” protagonist Daniel Völz, the Instagram influencer Lyn Künstner (147,000 subscribers), the German national hockey player Timur Oruz and the 9-year-old twins Lars and Nils report on living with the chronic metabolic disease. Users are encouraged to exchange thoughts and feelings and ask questions in the comments and social media pages of the initiative.

Education and research must go hand in hand

Prof. Dr. med. Anette Ziegler, Director of the Institute for Diabetes Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München, commented on the start of the campaign: “I believe it is absolutely necessary to educate people about type 1 diabetes – with regard to social aspects, but also to our research work. The better known this chronic disease is with all its consequences, the easier it is for us to communicate the benefits of early diagnosis studies such as Freder1k and Fr1da to families. Only screening makes prevention studies possible, with which we can approach the vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.”

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, CEO of Helmholtz Zentrum München, adds: “It is important that we continue to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes. 'LASST UNS ÜBER 1 REDEN' invites to exchange experiences and learn more about type 1 diabetes. Helmholtz Zentrum München wants to provide an impulse for this. As a research center, it is our responsibility to contribute to education and society. The fact that we take this mission seriously is also demonstrated by our long-established diabetes information service, with which we reach millions of citizens.“

Further information about the campaign

The campaign is supported by the Glückskind brand of dm drugstores, G+J e|MS, Heise Media and the publishing house Kirchheim.

For further information on the “A World Without 1” research initiative and “LASST UNS ÜBER 1 REDEN” campaign, please visit: https://www.aworldwithout1.de/

About type 1 diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system, which primarily fends off pathogenic germs, is directed against the body's own structures. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Insulin is a vital hormone that transports the sugar ingested with food from the blood into the cells. If the body can produce little or no insulin itself, the sugar accumulates in the blood. This can lead to life-threatening metabolic disorders, which is why people with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin for a lifetime. But even well-informed patients can suffer from various health issues. The average life expectancy of children with type 1 diabetes is still reduced by 14 to 18 years.

The Institute of Diabetes Research (IDF) focuses on the understanding of the natural history of type 1 diabetes, on the identification of mechanisms and predictive markers of the disease, and the translation of findings into trials to prevent type 1 diabetes in man. In particular, the institute’s aim is to develop an immune tolerance using antigen-based therapy. The IDF conducts long-term studies to examine the link between genes, environmental factors and the immune system for the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. Findings of the BABYDIAB study, which was established in 1989 as the world’s first prospective birth cohort study, identified the first two years of life as being most susceptible for the initiation of type 1 diabetes associated autoimmunity. The Fr1da study is the first population-based approach for the early diagnosis type 1 diabetes associated autoimmunity in childhood. The IDF is part of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC).

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,500 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 19 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. 

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