External artificial pancreas shown to improve type 1 diabetes treatment

In the world's first clinical trial that compared three alternative treatments for type 1 diabetes, the external artificial pancreas was shown to improve glucose control and reduce risk for hypoglycemia when compared to conventional diabetes treatment.

The artificial pancreas is one of the newer emerging technologies that provides an automated system for stimulating the normal pancreas to adapt insulin delivery in diabetics.

The new study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, suggests that the external artificial pancreas can deliver results similar to conventional insulin pump therapy, said first author of the study Ahmad Haidar.

Quality of life improvements

In a clinical trial, researchers compared two different settings of the artificial pancreas - one that delivered insulin alone and another than delivered both insulin and glucagon - with traditional insulin pump therapy.

Both of the artificial pancreas systems improved glucose control, said Haidar, and the dual-hormone system provided additional reduction in hypoglycemia when compared with the single-hormone system.

Researchers hope to use the artificial pancreas technology in further clinical trials that include longer periods of testing and larger patient cohorts.

Early models of the technology, which may be available within the next five to seven years, will focus on overnight glucose control.

Source: The Lancet
Image courtesy of dream designs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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