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Artificial Pancreas Continues to Show Promise
Date:6/28/2010

ach, which will take longer," he said.

In the first report, Dr. Roman Hovorka, a principal research associate in the department of pediatrics at the University of Cambridge, reported that the technology can significantly improve overnight blood sugar control in adults without the fear of developing hypoglycemia. With the technology, patients maintained their blood sugar levels within the target range for 70 percent of the time, compared to 47 percent of the time among those not using the technology.

Moreover, glucose control was demonstrated in real-life situations such as after a large meal and having a glass of white wine.

"We let them consume about three-quarters of a bottle of wine to simulate what happens after a large meal," Hovorka said during Saturday's teleconference. "What has been shown is that drinking alcohol in the evening causes hypoglycemia early in the morning."

These results were similar to findings in children where the system extended the amount of time spent at target blood sugar levels, he added. "We reduced hypoglycemia by half," he said.

"Our plan is to move into home studies, which hopefully will happen later on this year," Hovorka said.

Meanwhile, Marilyn Ritholz, a senior psychologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center and an assistant professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School, reported on a study on psychological barriers to continuous blood sugar monitoring.

"So far, studies have not shown which factors predict which factors are associated with successful or unsuccessful continuous glucose monitoring [CGM]," she said during the teleconference.

Ritholz's team found that people who were better at coping with the frustration of using the device were more successful at keeping their blood sugar under control.

Frustrations included warning alarms and problems at the insertion point of the device. "We found that the people who did well used a more problem-solving approach and persist
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