TAUNTON brothers James and Tom Lorimer were inspired by their gran to join a study that could help prevent Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

James, 13, and Tom, 11, signed up for the TrialNet international initiative for relatives of people with T1D after watching their 74-year-old grandma, who has the condition, endure hypos and complications.

As part of the study, screening is offered free to relatives of people with T1D to evaluate their personal risk of developing the disease.

The screening can identify the early stages of T1D years before any symptoms appear and helps researchers learn more about exploring ways to prevent it.

James said: "I found out about the study from my mum (Claire, a research nurse at Musgrove Park Hospital).

"I wanted to be able to help scientists get an understanding of T1D and also to help my grandma.

"Getting involved wasn’t hard at all - basically I sat in a chair and then they took my blood and tested it to see if I was at risk of developing diabetes."

Tom got involved as he believes it’s important to help scientists find new treatments.

He said: "When my mum told me about the study I was really interested and wanted to help.

"I only had to have a blood test, which did hurt a little bit, but it was over quickly.

"I know how important research is in helping scientists develop new treatments for things like diabetes."

Both James and Tom screened negative for the risk of developing diabetes.

T1D is a lifelong condition where your blood glucose level is too high and you need daily injections of insulin to keep your blood glucose levels under control.

Relatives of people with T1D are 15 times more likely to develop the disease.

Claire encouraged her sons to take part.

She said: "My mother has lived with T1D for about 50 years now and we’ve all seen how it has taken its toll on her.

"She sometimes has hypos, which upsets both of my boys as she can get very confused, and she attends outpatients frequently to monitor her conditions.

"T1D is a dangerous condition if it’s left undiagnosed and so when I first found out about this study I was keen to get my sons involved.

"As a mum you want to do everything and anything to protect your children and so I knew that by getting them enrolled in the study we would be able to find out what their chances were of developing the condition and then be able to act upon that."

Currently there is no routine screening available on the NHS for relatives of people with T1D.