Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay (the Scottish title for The Duchess of Cornwall) met world-leading researchers today at a Dundee Hospital pushing back the boundaries of knowledge on type 1 diabetes
The Duchess of Rothesay visited the Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, as President of JDRF. The centre, a collaboration between NHS Tayside and the University of Dundee, enables patients to benefit from cutting-edge clinical research.
It specialises in research into type 1 diabetes, which affects more than 28,000 people in Scotland, including over 2,800 children. The Duchess of Rothesay’s visit coincided with Diabetes Week 2013.
The event saw Her Royal Highness speak to Professor Rory McCrimmon, Clinical Reader for Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Medicine, and his team including Dr Priya George, on their research into hypoglycaemia.
Hypoglycaemia occurs when the blood glucose levels of someone living with type 1 diabetes fall too low. This is commonly known as ‘having a hypo.’ Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, and blurred vision. Without proper treatment, this can cause unconsciousness, and even death in very rare cases.
But some people living with type 1 diabetes have hypoglycaemia unawareness, meaning they have few or no symptoms when experiencing a hypo, increasing the risk of serious consequences. Professor McCrimmon’s team is investigating treatments that could help restore hypoglycaemia awareness. JDRF is providing approximately £1.2million of funding for this particular programme of research alone.
Her Royal Highness met 11-year-old Darcey McDonald, a Robert Gordon’s College pupil from Inverurie, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged three. The Duchess of Rothesay also spoke with families about their hypoglycaemia experiences and how their day-to-day lives are affected by type 1 diabetes.
Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF said:
'We are honoured to have The Duchess of Rothesay visit a JDRF-funded research project. We are deeply grateful for her ongoing support as President of JDRF. Her presence provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase the vital research that Professor McCrimmon and his team do in Dundee.'
Professor McCrimmon, who has been actively engaged in type 1 diabetes research for nearly 20 years, said:
'My hope is that through increasing our understanding of why hypoglycaemia unawareness develops, we will be able to develop strategies to treat or prevent it in future. We have made good progress and we are grateful to JDRF for its support.'