Friday, 28 November 2014

Artificial pancreas better than insulin pumps to treat type 1 diabetes?..........

Toronto, Nov 27: A study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology suggests that artificial pancreas could be better than conventional treatment to control and treat type 1 or juvenile diabetes, by improving sugar control.  (Read: World Diabetes Day 2014: 4 shocking misconceptions diabetics have)

How does the artificial pancreas work?
Type-1 diabetes is a chronic condition resulted from autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This caused an increase in blood and urine glucose, which can cause vision loss and cardiovascular diseases.
The external artificial pancreas is an automated system that simulates the normal pancreas by continuously adapting insulin delivery based on changes in glucose levels. Artificial pancreas exist in two configurations
  • A single-hormone artificial pancreas that delivers insulin alone
  • A dual-hormone artificial pancreas that delivers both insulin and glucagon.
While insulin lowers blood glucose levels, glucagon has the opposite effect and raises glucose levels.
What did the study find?
For the study, researchers compared the dual-hormone artificial pancreas, the single-hormone artificial pancreas and the conventional insulin pump therapy for sugar control in 30 adult and adolescent patients diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes. All these patients were using an insulin pump for at least three months before enrolling themselves in the study.
‘Our study confirms that both artificial pancreas systems improve glucose control and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia compared to conventional pump therapy,’ explained engineer Ahmad Haidar, first author of the study from Institut De Recherche Clinique De Montreal (IRCM).  (Read: World Diabetes Day 2014: 5 reasons diabetes has become an epidemic in India)
What next?

The researchers are pursuing clinical trials on the artificial pancreas to test the system for longer periods and with larger patient cohorts. The technology should be available commercially within the next five to seven years, with early generations focusing on overnight glucose control.(Read: World Diabetes Day: How a healthy breakfast can prevent diabetes)