Assistance Dog Molly Trained To Detect When Twins' Glucose Levels Become Unstable During Class

Assistance dog Molly trained to detect when twins' glucose levels become unstable during class

Assistance dog Molly trained to detect when twins' glucose levels become unstable during class

In a first for Canberra's public schools system, two girls living with type 1 diabetes and anxiety have been allowed to bring their assistance dog into the classroom.
For seven-year-old twins Hannah and Olivia Weber, having silky terrier Molly by their side at Ainslie School could mean the difference between life and death.
Molly has been specially trained to detect when either of the girls' glucose levels becomes unstable, and to calm them down when they become anxious.
"We used to get a lot of 'Olivia and Hannah aren't coping very well at school' because of their anxiety," their mother, Adrienne Cottell, said.
When she approached the school's principal, Kate Chapman, about allowing Molly to attend, Ms Chapman was navigating uncharted territory.
"There wasn't a lot of advice to be had in the [education] directorate, though everyone was willing," she said.
"We felt very positive about it, but we started slowly."
Molly began attending the school a few hours each day, and immediately showed her value as a service dog.
On the third day, she alerted Hannah's teacher to dangerously low blood sugar levels.
"Hannah is hypo-unaware, which makes her condition dangerous," Ms Cottell said.
Molly will soon become a full-time presence at Ainslie School.
Molly manages Hannah and Olivia's anxiety with the help of Mind Dog, an organisation that specialises in training psychiatric help dogs.
They provide the certification that allows Molly access to public areas.
Board member Janelle Norton said since Mind Dog started in 2011, the demand for its services has steadily grown.
"We have assista Continue reading

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Newspaper review: 'Goodnight Princess' and diabetes fears

Newspaper review: 'Goodnight Princess' and diabetes fears

The face of the Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher looks out from most of the front pages, following her death in Los Angeles.
Most of the newspapers use exactly the same photograph; Fisher dressed as Princess Leia, sporting a blaster pistol. But a raft of pictures of the 60-year-old, who died on Tuesday, have been shared by fans.
The Independent sums up her career as an actor and writer with the headline "From space princess to playful critic of Hollywood".
Some of the other front pages might cause readers of a certain age to choke on their festive mince pies.
The Daily Mail calls the situation which sparked a warning by health officials in England that most middle-aged people are overweight, lazy, or drink too much a "health curse".
The headline in the Times says people aged 40-60 are "in denial" about their weight and the amount of alcohol they consume.
The Mail has more bad news for people of all ages. It highlights research from the London School of Economics, which says guidelines about the recommended number of calories we should eat every day ought to be "slashed".
That is because the current advice was drawn up a century ago, when adults were more active - walking to work, and visiting friends in person. As lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary, the paper says, our calorie intake has stayed the same.
The author of the study has some simple advice: "We should all eat less."
When it comes to binge drinking, the Guardian says women are portrayed more negatively than men by the media.
It quotes research compiled by academics in Glasgow which says women are unfairl Continue reading

Immunotherapy For Type 1 Diabetes Deemed Safe In First U.S. Trial

Immunotherapy For Type 1 Diabetes Deemed Safe In First U.S. Trial

In the first U.S. safety trial of a new form of immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes (T1D), led by UC San Francisco scientists and physicians, patients experienced no serious adverse reactions after receiving infusions of as many as 2.6 billion cells that had been specially selected for their potential to protect the body’s ability to produce insulin.
T1D is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system, which normally defends against infections, somehow goes awry and targets insulin-secreting cells, called beta cells, in the pancreas. Many T1D therapies aim to tackle this problem by suppressing the immune response, but that approach can have serious consequences, including an increased susceptibility to infection or cancer.
As reported in the Nov. 25 online issue of Science Translational Medicine, however, the cells used in the completed Phase 1 trial, known as regulatory T cells (Tregs; pronounced “tee-regs”), are instead based on the concept of “immune tolerance” – these cells may have the capability to dampen the immune system’s assault on beta cells while leaving its infection-fighting capabilities intact.
“This could be a game-changer,” said first author Jeffrey A. Bluestone, PhD, the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor in Metabolism and Endocrinology at UCSF. “For type 1 diabetes, we’ve traditionally given immunosuppressive drugs, but this trial gives us a new way forward. By using Tregs to ‘re-educate’ the immune system, we may be able to really change the course of this disease.”
While the trial was not designed to ass Continue reading

Using artificial intelligence to revolutionize diabetes treatment

Using artificial intelligence to revolutionize diabetes treatment

A Silicon Valley startup wants to use artificial intelligence to help diabetes patients better navigate health and lifestyle decisions.
Suggestic, an application and Internet-based platform, is looking to fuse medical advances with a growing trend of personalized healthcare — making interventions specific to the individual patient. The company launched a beta version of its technology earlier this month and has a few thousand people signed up in their waiting list to try out the service.
“We call it the ‘lifestyle GPS’ because we want it to work as a personal assistant to help diabetic people to have a better lifestyle,” Shai Rosen, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Suggestic, told Devex. “We want to give people a virtual presence right next to them 24 [hours a day] and 7 [days a week] to make small habit-changing choices.”
Founded in July 2014, Suggestic focuses on creating personalized interventions in just about every aspect of type 2 diabetes patients’ lives — and even those of their family and friends.
Rosen sees his group’s work as part of a broader trend in precision medicine: the most effective strategies for each individual. That move is part of a broader paradigm shift from the generalist point of view that has prevailed in the healthcare and medical industry in the past. “We’re all the same human beings but at the same time we’re all very different. We’ve seen that treating everyone as if we’re all the same just doesn’t work,” he said.
“We believe that the future of health has to do with deep and advanced personalizatio Continue reading

Life-saving device for type 1 diabetes too expensive

Life-saving device for type 1 diabetes too expensive

A small device has revolutionised the lives of those with type 1 diabetes, including the life of Burnie man Troy Wilkins.
Life-saving: Troy Wilkins will not be able to afford to continue to use CGM technology because of the prohibitive costs. Picture: Sarah Lansdown
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a technology where patients have a small filament inserted into the skin that sends a blood glucose reading to a monitor every five minutes, day and night.
Since trialing the technology through a grant from type 1 diabetes advocacy charity the Danii Foundation, Mr Wilkins said the device has saved his life by alerting him to dangerously low blood sugar levels.
“I had no idea before I started that my blood sugar levels were dropping critically low every single night,” he said.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which destroys the insulin-creating cells in the pancreas, leaving the patient to rely on daily insulin injections and around-the-clock monitoring. There is no known cause or cure.
While CGM offers the most effective and least intrusive way to monitor the condition and avoid “dead in bed syndrome”, Mr Wilkins said he won’t be able to continue after his trial because the cost is too high.
“I’m worried that I’m not going to wake up the next morning because I’m going to have low blood sugar overnight,” Mr Wilkins said.
The technology costs between $3500 and $6000 per year.
The Danii Foundation was involved in lobbying the federal government for funding of CGM for under 21 year olds.
I’m worried that I’m not going to wake up the next morning Continue reading

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