The artificial pancreas helps young children suffering from Type 1 diabetes, study hints

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic kind of disease in which the pancreas makes insulin destroyed, resulting in an increased level of glucose in the blood. Insulin is what makes the cell receptive to glucose by creating a channel called GLUT (Glucose Transporters). Hyperglycemia can lead to both short-term and long-term problems. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, and it may be due to autoimmune diseases or genetic and environmental factors that favor the condition.

This condition in children is called juvenile diabetes, and it is the most common nowadays. Scientists are working for many years to find a solution to treat the suffering children. Recently, they have developed an artificial pancreatic system which used to treat even six-year-old children.

Artificial pancreas

It is a closed-loop control machine that is effective in delivering insulin automatically when it detects high glucose by CGM. It describes an “all-in-one” diabetes management system. The system replaces reliance on testing by fingerstick or CGM with the delivery of insulin many times a day or a pump controlled by the patients or caregivers.

It is not implanted into the patient’s body rather it uses a computer to look for the glucose level.

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The study

Researchers at the diabetic center in the US conducted a randomized clinical trial with 101 children, and most of them were between six and thirteen. They used artificial pancreas to the experimented children and just a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device with a separate insulin pump to the control group.

They noticed a 7% improvement in their blood sugar level with the children using artificial pancreas during the day time and a 26% improvement at night when compared to the control group. This result is quite impressive, especially at night, because it provides good sleep to the caregivers at night.

This technique keeps the blood sugar level at the better range, and its effect lasts 3 hours extra a day than the CGM with an insulin pump. One in five children with type 1 diabetes can use this effective treatment to keep their blood sugar level stable. Even previous research with an artificial pancreas was proven safe in people 14 and older.

Also, the study reported some 16 adverse effects, usually minor, in the experimented group. These were mainly due to the problems with the insulin pump equipment. Three events occurred in the control group. Fortunately, no cases of hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis were noticed. This method will find its way in the mark of developing a new treatment for diabetic patients.

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Source: CNN

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