Children who are at risk of developing type 1 diabetes will trail metformin to see if the cheap drug can prevent the disease.
The study will take part in Scotland which will involve children, aged 5 to 16, taking a simple blood test to determine whether they are at risk of developing the condition.
Scotland has the third highest rate of type 1 diabetes in the world.
If they are found to be at risk then they will be given the chance to take part in a clincal trail.
Metformin is the worlds most common prescribed medicine for diabetes.
The study will test whether metformin can stop the immune response from destroying beta cells.
Professor Wilkin, of the University of Exeter Medcial School, said: ‘We still have no means of preventing type 1 diabetes which, at all ages, results from insufficient insulin.
‘We all lose beta cells over the course of our lives, but most of us have enough for normal function.
‘However, if the rate of beta cell loss is accelerated, type 1 diabetes develops, and the faster the loss, the younger the onset of the condition.’
It has been estimated that 80,000 children worldwide develop type 1 diabetes each year.
Diabetes can lead to other health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure and erectile dysfunction in men.
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If you have any concerns regarding diabetes then you should speak to your GP.
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