AIMS: Glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies are the most widely used predictive marker for Type 1 diabetes, but many individuals currently found to be GAD antibody-positive are unlikely to develop diabetes. We have shown previously that radioimmunoassays using N-terminally truncated 35 S-GAD65 (96-585) offer better disease specificity with similar sensitivity to full-length 35 S-GAD65 (1-585). To determine whether assay performance could be improved further, we evaluated a more radically truncated 35 S-GAD65 (143-585) radiolabel. METHODS: Samples from people with recent-onset Type 1 diabetes (n = 157) and their first-degree relatives (n = 745) from the Bart's-Oxford family study of childhood diabetes were measured for GAD antibodies using 35 S-labelled GAD65 (143-585). These were screened previously using a local radioimmunoassay with 35 S-GAD65 (1-585). A subset was also tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which performs well in international workshops, but requires 10 times more serum. Results were compared with GAD antibody measurements using 35 S-GAD65 (1-585) and 35 S-GAD65 (96-585). RESULTS: Sensitivity of GAD antibody measurement was maintained using 35 S-GAD65 (143-585) compared with 35 S-GAD65 (1-585) and 35 S-GAD65 (96-585). Specificity for Type 1 diabetes was improved compared with 35 S-GAD65 (1-585), but was similar to 35 S-GAD65 (96-585). Relatives found to be GAD antibody-positive using these truncated labels were at increased risk of diabetes progression within 15 years, compared with those positive for GAD(1-585) antibody only, and at similar risk to those found GAD antibody-positive by ELISA. CONCLUSIONS: The first 142 amino acids of GAD65 do not contribute to epitopes recognized by Type 1 diabetes-associated GAD antibodies. Low-volume radioimmunoassays using N-terminally truncated 35 S-GAD65 are more specific than those using full-length GAD65 and offer practical alternatives to the GAD antibody ELISA for identifying children at increased risk of Type 1 diabetes. © 2018 Diabetes UK.