T1D Facts

Stage 1

Stage 1 is now considered the start of T1D. Individuals test positive for two or more diabetes-related autoantibodies identified by TrialNet screening. The immune system has started attacking insulin-producing beta cells, although blood sugar levels remain normal and no symptoms are present.

Type 1 Diabetes: Stage 1

Info graphic showing the stages of Type 1 Diabetes, and how stage 1 fits in the picture.

In stage 1, the immune system has started attacking insulin-producing beta cells. However, blood sugar levels remain normal and there are no symptoms.

Thanks to nearly 160,000 TrialNet study participants to date, we now know more about T1D than ever before.

Today, T1D is better understood as an autoimmune disorder that begins years before symptoms appear.

With TrialNet screening, we can identify individuals who are in the early stages of T1D. Increased risk of developing symptomatic T1D is linked to the presence of diabetes-related autoantibodies in the blood. Having two or more of these autoantibodies is now classified as early stage T1D. Almost everyone in stage 1 will progress to stage 3 (clinical diagnosis).

The ability to diagnose pre-symptom T1D has become very accurate and important to disease treatment and outcomes. When T1D is detected early, it can reduce the threat of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), improve mental outlook, and potentially allow for earlier treatment to preserve insulin production.

TrialNet offers clinical trials exploring ways to maintain beta cell function for as long as possible. The goal of these studies is to slow down or stop disease progression. Our ultimate goal is prevention of T1D.

Current Research

If your screening results show you are in stage 1, you may be able to participate in a prevention study. These studies are looking for ways to slow down or stop the disease.

Abatacept - Closed to Enrollment - Study Ongoing

TrialNet is testing the drug abatacept to see if it can delay or prevent progression of early stage T1D (stage 1 to stage 2) and ultimately prevent clinical diagnosis (stage 3). In earlier studies for people newly diagnosed (stage 3), abatacept helped slow down disease progression. Learn more