An Artificial Pancreas Gets a Step Closer to Reality
A new step has been taken in the path to an artificial pancreas: Researchers were able to prevent some at-home, nighttime blood glucose lows in people with type 1 diabetes. Previous studies have looked primarily at systems that shut off insulin once hypoglycemia occurs. In a study of a program that stops insulin delivery before blood glucose drops too low, researchers tested 45 people ages 15 to 45 whose insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors were connected to a laptop for 42 nights. From there, a computer formula predicted hypoglycemia (defined in the study as blood glucose values of 60 mg/dl or less) based on how fast blood glucose was falling, among other factors. The system then temporarily suspended insulin in an effort to prevent lows. Low blood glucose occurred on 21 percent of the nights with the system, versus on 33 percent of nights without it. Overall blood glucose values were only slightly higher with the system.
Source: Diabetes Care, published online May 7, 2014