Context: The aim of this review was to explore the pathogenic and clinical spectrum of type 1 diabetes, which includes a form of adult onset autoimmune diabetes usually referred to as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). We looked at this entire range of forms of autoimmune diabetes as a spectrum of genetic and nongenetic environmental influences, diabetes-associated immune responses, and metabolic changes.
Evidence acquisition: We assessed epidemiological, genetic, immunological, and clinical data from major articles on autoimmune diabetes, including LADA and type 1 diabetes, published since 1992.
Evidence synthesis: Data analysis of autoimmune diabetes indi-cates that type 1 diabetes and LADA occupy different poles of the same spectrum.
Conclusion: Evidence is presented that LADA represents one end of a rainbow encompassing type 1 diabetes. The clinical nature and management of autoimmune diabetes poses important therapeutic questions regarding conventional therapy for hyperglycemia as well as therapy aiming to protect residual beta-cell function. Limiting loss of endogenous insulin secretion using immunomodulation could be valuable, not only for LADA but also for type 1 diabetes.