It is of particular concern to us to improve the care of children with rare blood sugar regulation disorders in a forward-looking way. In addition to the clinical care of our patients, the linking of clinic and research is therefore another essential part of our work. The ZHHD is both a treatment center and a research facility. We are active in national and international research alliances, and our work has made a significant contribution to improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with rare blood sugar regulation disorders. ZHHD team members regularly take part in national and international congresses (including regional quality circles, JA-PED, DDG, ESPE, ISPAD) in order to ensure scientific exchange with other experts in the field of blood sugar regulation disorders. Our patients therefore always benefit from the current state of research.
Main areas of research
One focus of our work is the investigation of rare hypoglycaemic diseases. For example, we have contributed to the characterization of exercise-induced hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia (EIHH), syndromal hypoglycaemia (Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome) and very rare forms of hypoinsulinemic hypoketotic hypoglycaemia. One of our goals is to improve the long-term prognosis of children with rare hypoglycaemic diseases. In a current study we are therefore investigating, for example, how children with congenital hyperinsulinism can be identified at an early stage, i.e. if possible within the first days of life, in order to avoid hypoglycaemic brain damage by the rapid initiation of adequate therapy.
In line with our family-oriented approach to treatment, we are investigating the psychosocial burden on parents of children with blood sugar regulation disorders in a further study. The aim is to use this information to develop appropriate measures and recommendations to reduce the burden on parents of chronically ill children and improve their quality of life. In addition, we regularly review our treatment strategies by scientifically evaluating the clinical data available to us.
We are involved in various research activities of the Germany-wide diabetes register DPV (Diabetes-Patienten-Verlaufsdokumentation). In addition to researching the most common form of diabetes in childhood and adolescence, type 1 diabetes mellitus, we are also particularly concerned with rare forms of diabetes, e.g. genetic forms of diabetes (MODY), mitochondrial diabetes or diabetes resulting from removal of the pancreas.
In cooperation with the research group of Prof. Marc Jacobsen (Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at our Children's Hospital) we are also investigating the mechanisms of T-cell-dependent development of autoimmunity in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (more information here).