Navigation Links
Artificial Pancreas Worked Overnight on Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The artificial pancreas -- a treatment that's been called the closest thing to a possible cure for type 1 diabetes -- may be another step closer to becoming a reality.

Israeli researchers just released the findings from an overnight trial of their artificial pancreas system at three different camps for youngsters with type 1 diabetes. The artificial pancreas system was able to maintain better blood sugar levels, and helped prevent dangerous overnight drops in blood sugar levels, compared to an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor, according to the study.

"There is hope for better control without the fear of [low blood sugar levels], and therefore improvement in quality of life is coming soon," said study author Dr. Moshe Phillip.

Philip is director of the Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes at the National Center for Childhood Diabetes at the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, in Tel Aviv. The findings appear in the Feb. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system turns against healthy cells. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks beta cells in the pancreas, effectively destroying the body's ability to produce the hormone insulin. Insulin helps metabolize carbohydrates from food and fuels the body's cells.

Insulin can't be replaced with a pill. It must be injected with a shot or delivered by a pump that uses a tiny catheter inserted under the skin. This catheter must be changed every few days. The problem with both techniques is that people have to estimate how much insulin they'll need based on the foods they eat and how much activity they'll be doing.

Too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), which makes a person with diabetes feel awful, and if left untreated, can cause a person to pass out. Low blood sugar levels can even lead to death. Too little insulin leads to high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), which over time can cause serious complications, such as heart disease and kidney and eye problems.

An artificial pancreas could potentially solve those problems by taking over the decision-making process and applying sophisticated computer algorithms to decide how much insulin is needed at any given moment.

But developing such a device isn't easy. It has to be able to continuously detect patients' blood sugar levels and know whether the levels are trending up or down. There also has to be a piece of the device that holds and delivers insulin. Right now, most artificial pancreas devices, including the one tested in this study, use already-available insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. Such monitors measure blood sugar levels every few minutes with a sensor that's inserted under the skin, and send the results to a transmitter.

An artificial pancreas also needs a place to house its computer program or algorithm. Right now, that's generally housed in a laptop that sits on the bedside overnight, as it was in the current study. The hope is that the algorithm could exist within one of the other devices, or maybe even as an application on a cell phone.

In the new study, 56 children from three different diabetes camps in Israel, Slovenia and Germany were randomly assigned to an overnight session on the artificial pancreas, or with standard treatment using an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. The following night, they switched.

All of the children had type 1 diabetes, and were between the ages of 10 and 18.

Diabetes camps offer a great place to test the artificial pancreas, because the children are often far more active than usual. All that extra activity leaves them prone to low blood sugar levels throughout the night. Also, staff members are already assigned to check blood sugar levels at certain times in the night.

The artificial pancreas system tested in this study shuts off insulin delivery when it senses that blood sugar levels are going too low. It can also deliver additional insulin when blood sugar levels are rising.

A low blood sugar level is below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). On nights that children were on standard treatment, 36 episodes of low blood sugar occurred. On nights that youngsters were on the artificial pancreas, only 12 low blood sugar episodes occurred. Phillip said adjustments could be made to the artificial pancreas to reduce the number of episodes on the artificial pancreas even further.

One diabetes expert talked about the device.

"Overnight control is the most difficult and worrisome part of diabetes management," explained Aaron Kowalski, vice president for treatment therapies at JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), based in New York City.

"It's amazing how effective the artificial pancreas is at reducing low blood sugar levels without having to wake up a child and make them eat something, which disturbs their sleep, adds calories to their day and leaves sugar on their teeth overnight," Kowalski said.

The artificial pancreas also maintained blood sugar levels at an average of about 126 mg/dL compared to 140 mg/dL for the standard treatment. The goal of insulin treatment is to maintain blood sugar levels as low as possible without dropping below 70 mg/dL, so the artificial pancreas offered more effective treatment.

Phillip said his group is now testing the artificial pancreas in people's homes.

JDRF's Kowalski said outpatient trials of different artificial pancreas systems are going on in the United States as well.

More information

For more about the artificial pancreas system, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: Moshe Phillip, M.D., director, Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes, National Center for Childhood Diabetes, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, and vice dean, research and development, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Isreal; Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., vice president, treatment therapies, JDRF, New York City; Feb. 28, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Swine cells could power artificial liver
2. Hear This: 3-D Printing Creates Lifelike Artificial Ears
3. Artificial Organs (Medical Bionic Implants) Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% & to reach $17.82 billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets
4. Artificial pancreas: The way of the future for treating type 1 diabetes
5. FDA: Dont Use Pradaxa Blood Thinner in Patients With Artificial Heart Valves
6. A leap forward in the quest to develop an artificial pancreas
7. Artificial butter flavoring ingredient linked to key Alzheimers disease process
8. Farmers tough on artificial limbs
9. Could Compound in Artificial Sweeteners Worsen Crohns Disease?
10. Pancreas stem cell discovery may lead to new diabetes treatments
11. Mayo Clinic: Diabetes can be controlled in patients after pancreas removal
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Artificial Pancreas Worked Overnight on Kids With Type 1 Diabetes
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In an article ... variables that determine which patients are or are not eligible for bariatric surgery. The ... BMI over 40, are more than 100 pounds overweight, or have a BMI of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... It takes only three to five seconds to make ... the first impression be positive and reflects business values. If a client starts with ... want to return. They will also share their thoughts about a business with others, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members ... live taping of the next CURE Connections® video series on Saturday, ... Symposium at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center in Washington, D.C. , CURE ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Aided by seed funding from the ... study designed to yield insights into how to detect and treat pancreatic cancer (PC). ... cancer from small, non-coding RNA molecules (ncRNA), genetic material that is present in the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Sir Grout of Baltimore is proud to ... award recognizes good companies for excellence in service and a commitment to the ... surface restoration company earned this recognition after a thorough review by the acclaimed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Connecticut , November 24, 2015 ... of Acadiana has entered into a multi-year agreement ... imaging centers. This investment will provide the Breast Center ... --> Sectra (STO: SECT B) announces that ... agreement to deploy Breast Imaging PACS in its ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ... its Board of Directors has declared a special 1 percent ... dividend is payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record ... form of additional shares of common stock. ... Board is a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- iRhythm Technologies, Inc. , a leading digital health care ... will participate in the 27th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference at ... . Kevin King , Chief Executive Officer of ... 8:50am ET. --> --> ... . --> iRhythm is a privately held ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: