Mechanical Cure For Type 1 Diabetes?
Could be, and the key word is SOON!

(Top Posts - Science - 070807)

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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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Complete article:

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-
brooke's Hospital.

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
glucose levels.

“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,”
said Hovorka.

“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
them. ”

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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