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Early artificial pancreas trials show benefits for kids, teenagers with diabetes overnight
Date:2/5/2010

LONDON, Feb. 5, 2010 In a landmark study in children and teenagers with type 1 diabetes, JDRF-funded researchers at the University of Cambridge showed that using a first-generation artificial pancreas system overnight can lower the risk of low blood sugar emergencies while sleeping, and at the same time improve diabetes control.

Results from the studies are published in the February 5, 2010 issue of The Lancet, available online at www.thelancet.com.

The trials tested the safety and effectiveness of a first-generation artificial pancreas system used overnight in a hospital setting with participants between 5 and 18 years of age with type 1 diabetes. The system combined commercially available blood glucose sensors and insulin pumps, controlled by a sophisticated computer program that determined insulin dosage based on blood glucose levels while the participants slept.

Maintaining recommended blood sugar levels overnight is a major issue for people with type 1 diabetes and particularly for the families of children with diabetes because of the possibility of blood glucose dropping dangerously low during sleep and going unnoticed, which can lead to seizures, coma, and in some cases be fatal.

Notably, the Cambridge study showed that the children and teenagers spent twice as much time during the night within targeted blood glucose levels when their diabetes was regulated with the artificial pancreas system than when they followed conventional "manual" therapy. And low blood sugars were minimized.

"These studies show that automated systems not only can help people manage diabetes by maintaining good control, they will also improve quality of life for the people with type 1 diabetes and their families by lowering the risk for hypoglycemia," said Roman Hovorka, Ph.D., from the Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge, the principal investigator of the
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Contact: Joana Casas
mcasas@jdrf.org
212-479-7650
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Source:Eurekalert

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