London: A research conducted at the University of Cambridge has for the first time successfully demonstrated the potential of an `artificial pancreas` in preventing night-time hypoglycaemia in adults with Type 1 diabetes.
The device regulates blood glucose levels by releasing insulin when alerted to high levels of glucose, and withholding it when levels are low. Currently people with Type 1 diabetes have to either inject insulin several times a day or wear an insulin pump2 which releases the hormone via a cannula inserted under the skin. The first study monitored 12 participants overnight after consuming a medium-sized meal (60 g carbohydrate) at 7pm. In the second study, the other 12 participants were monitored overnight after consuming a larger meal (100 g carbohydrate) accompanied by alcohol at 8.30pm. The studies showed a 22 per cent improvement in the time participants kept their blood glucose levels in a safe range, halving the time they spent with low blood glucose levels and reducing the risk of both short term and long term complications. Dr Hovorka said, "Hypoglycaemia remains a major challenge, especially during the night, so it`s encouraging to see such promising results from our trial using commercially available devices. "The study is a stepping stone to testing the artificial pancreas at home and suggests that the artificial pancreas may be suitable in adults as well as in children and adolescents we found previously."PTI
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