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

ed in trying to learn how to use the CGM," she said.

People who were not successful used "emotion-based coping," Ritholz said. "They easily became overwhelmed and they just gave up."

In addition, successful people had more involvement and support from their spouse or "significant other," she added. All patients felt self-conscious wearing the device, Ritholz noted.

"We know that CGM success or failure is as dependent on the human experience as it is on the perfection of the technology," she said.

Speaking at the Saturday teleconference, Dr. William Tamborlane, chief of pediatric endocrinology at Yale University School of Medicine and co-chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Continuous Glucose Monitoring Group, said the system only works if worn almost every day.

Studies have shown that children and adults over 25 who used CGM were able to reduce their blood sugar levels. However, teenagers did not see a benefit, probably because they were less likely to wear the device, Tamborlane said.

People who used the device more than six days per week saw improvement, regardless of age, he added.

To get more people to use CGM, "the industry needs to come up with better systems and better devices," he said.

Artificial pancreas technology combines CGM with an insulin pump and a sophisticated computer program that controls when and how much insulin to deliver.

The device delivers two hormones that are deficient in type 1 diabetes -- insulin, which keeps blood sugar levels from going too high after a meal, and glucagon, a naturally occurring hormone that prevents blood sugar levels from dropping too low.

However, the complicated computer algorithm for the pump system is still being developed.

More information

For more information on type 1 diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.


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