In Finland, childhood and adult diabetes is of great importance, as the prevalence of both types of diabetes is higher than anywhere else in the world.
Diabetes research is ongoing primarily in Turku, Oulu, Tampere and Kuopio. Finland is involved in three large type 1 diabetes research projects. DIPP (Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Project), which was launched in 1994, as well as TEDDY and TrialNet, focus on the risk factors and development of type 1 diabetes. They aim at finding new treatment and prevention methods. The Dehko Programme works to prevent type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications.
Currently, the research focuses on, for example, diabetes-associated autoantibodies, gene expression, innate immunity and vitamin D studies. Other areas of interest include cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes and the genetics of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
Future academic research includes, for example, the lipidomics, metabolomics and proteomics of diabetes, as well as studies of the link between type 1 diabetes and certain infections, common viruses, such as enteroviruses, and the composition of microbes/probiotics.
For example, Vactech Oy is developing a preventive novel enterovirus vaccine against type 1 diabetes. The development of new measuring devices, for example for blood glucose and the wireless mobile monitoring of the disease, are also new commercial solutions.
Finland has a comprehensive DIPP biobank, which makes it possible to achieve rapid progress in the development of new clinical practices as well as new technologies and drug candidates.
The following links include some examples of organizations with diabetes expertise in Finland:
Academy of Finland
Diabetes programme Dehko
Diabetes projects DIPP/Teddy/TrialNet
FIMM – Molecular Medicine
National Institute for Health and Welfare
VTT – Technical Research Centre of Finland