Mechanical Cure For Type
Key excerpt from the following article: "Insulin
treatment for people with type 1 diabetes could
soon see drastic improvement ..."
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July 8, 2007
Source: University Of Cambridge
Mechanical Cure For Type 1 Diabetes?
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Science Daily — Insulin treatment for people with type 1
diabetes could soon see drastic improvement thanks to
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)-funded
scientists in Cambridge.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have just
begun clinical trials of an “artificial pancreas” at Adden-
The “artificial pancreas” can improve control over the wide
fluctuations of a patient's glucose levels that, over time,
lead to severe complications such as heart attack, stroke,
kidney failure, amputations, blindness and premature death.
The artificial pancreas, spearheaded by Drs Roman Hov-
orka, David Dunger and Carlo Acerini of the Department of
Paediatrics, combines two pieces of technology – an insulin
pump and a continuous glucose sensor, which provides real
time data about trends in glucose levels and alarms the pa-
tient to intervene if levels are heading too high or too low.
Dr Hovorka is working on perfecting the algorithm that en-
ables the pump and sensor to “talk” to each other by test-
ing the technology in children, who are the most challeng-
ing age group in which to achieve consistently normal
“This technology will enable a child with type 1 diabetes
to achieve better glucose and HbA1c levels by automatic-
ally providing the right amount of insulin at the right time,
just as the pancreas does in people without the condition,”
“Doctors and patients should be aware that this technol-
ogy is coming.”
JDRF Chief Executive Karen Addington, who was diag-
nosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, says: “JDRF is
funding the development of the artificial pancreas be-
cause we believe that it is the best possible ‘mechan-
ical cure' for type 1 diabetes whilst we continue the
search for a biological cure. Regulating blood glucose
levels is vital to reducing the risk of the many devastat-
ing complications that can arise from type 1 diabetes.
“The artificial pancreas will also give everyone affected
by the condition freedom from the enormous burden
that comes with having to stick to a rigid timetable of
multiple daily injections and finger prick blood tests.
However this research will only be able to bring that
relief if the insulin pumps, a vital part of the artificial
pancreas, are made available to everyone that needs
This research was featured in a BBC Ten O'Clock
News report by Health Correspondent Fergus Walsh
July 5, 2007.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release
issued by University Of Cambridge.
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