A new artificial pancreas currently being tested by researchers at University of Cambridge is reported to be effective in reducing the risk of low blood sugar and also improves blood sugar control.
The study, led by Roman Hovorka, involved 24 people suffering from type 1 diabetes. The volunteers were divided into two groups of 12 each and were made to go through two real-life scenarios, one that involved eating dinner at home while the second scenario involved eating dinner, which involved drinking alcohol, in a restaurant.
For the first scenario, 12 volunteers were given a medium-sized meal with 60 grams of carbohydrates at 7 p.m., and then another half were placed on the artificial pancreas program during the night. The second scenario involved 12 volunteers who were assigned to receive 100 grams of carbohydrates at 8:30 p.m., and were also given white wine along with their meal. Both the groups then switched sides several weeks later.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that the blood sugar control in the first scenario was 15 percent, which increased to 28 percent for the second scenario. The overall blood sugar control for both the scenarios was 22 percent.
"This study is more good news, and we're seeing an evolution of more and more sophistication in this closed loop study. What we're doing now is pressing these systems in real situations with the goal of getting to the next step of testing at home", the assistant vice president for treatment therapies at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Aaron Kowalski said. The study has been published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Medicine.