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FDA Approves First ‘artificial Pancreas’ For Diabetes Treatment

FDA approves first ‘artificial pancreas’ for diabetes treatment

FDA approves first ‘artificial pancreas’ for diabetes treatment

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the first so-called artificial pancreas, an out-of-body device expected to lift the burden for some diabetics on the daily grind they must go through to keep their blood sugar levels stable. It will be available next spring for patients with type 1 diabetes who are over age 14.
The device, which looks like a smartphone, is designed to automatically monitor and administer the delivery of insulin for type 1 diabetes patients, whose ability to provide insulin naturally is impaired. It wirelessly links up an insulin pump and glucose monitor, allowing patients to partly turn over the process of testing and adjusting their blood sugar levels. It’s not unlike cruise control: Patients still have to manually control their glucose levels before they eat.
In the diabetes community, optimism about the new device is tempered by fears that it will command a high price tag that could put it out of reach for patients already grappling with the soaring cost of insulin. Medtronic, which developed the “MiniMed 670G,” has yet to announce how much it plans to charge. But spokeswoman Leslie Bryant said the company expects to offer it “at currently offered Medtronic pump system pricing” and is talking with health plans to “enable patient access.”
Medtronic’s application was approved on the back of a study that tested how 123 type 1 diabetes patients fared on the device. No patients reported developing complications like excess blood acids or low glucose levels that can result from poor monitoring of the disease.
Medtronic is a Continue reading

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A Vaccine For Type 1 Diabetes Begins Human Trials in 2018

A Vaccine For Type 1 Diabetes Begins Human Trials in 2018

A prototype vaccine, decades in the making, that could prevent type 1 diabetes in children is ready to start clinical trials in 2018.
It's not a cure, and it won't eliminate the disease altogether, but the vaccine is expected to provide immunity against a virus that has been found to trigger the body's defences into attacking itself, potentially reducing the number of new diabetes cases each year.
Over two decades of research led by the University of Tampere in Finland has already provided solid evidence linking a type of virus called coxsackievirus B1 with an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to destroy cells in its own pancreas.
The type 1 form of diabetes – not to be confused with the more prevalent type 2 variety that tends to affect individuals later in life – is a decreased ability to produce the insulin used by the body's cells to absorb glucose out of the blood.
This loss of insulin is the result of pancreatic tissue called beta cells being destroyed by the body's own immune system, often within the first few years of life.
It's something of a mystery as to why the body identifies beta cells as foreign, though there could be a genetic link producing variations of human leukocyte markers, which act as the cell's 'ID tags'.
No doubt it's complex, and there are numerous ways this process can be triggered. One example established by virologist Heikki Hyöty from the University of Tampere is an infection by a type of enterovirus.
Enteroviruses are nasty pieces of work; you might be most familiar with polio, but they can also cause hand, foot and mouth disease, Continue reading

CMAJ article links hunger in residential schools to Type 2 diabetes, obesity

CMAJ article links hunger in residential schools to Type 2 diabetes, obesity

Widespread, prolonged hunger that existed in residential schools is a contributing factor in the disproportionate health issues facing many Indigenous people, such as diabetes and obesity, according to an article published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"Hunger is really central to the experiences of residential school survivors," says Ian Mosby who co-authored the article with Tracy Galloway, both with the University of Toronto.
They say childhood malnutrition experienced in many government-funded schools is contributing to the higher risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease among Indigenous people in adulthood.
"While this wasn't every single residential school," says Mosby, "it's common enough through survivor testimony that we need to start looking at hunger in residential schools as a real predictor of long-term health problems."
Residential schools across Canada faced significant underfunding, along with inadequate cooking facilities and untrained staff. Historians and former students have described children getting "one or two pieces of stale bread for lunch. Rarely getting meat, rarely getting milk and butter, and few fruits and vegetables," says Mosby.
He estimates many students received 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day. A normal range for a child's healthy development is 1,400 to 3,200.
Famine studies in China, Russia and the Netherlands show height-stunted youth developed greater insulin sensitivity and lower insulin levels, making them prone to developing Type 2 diabetes, the article notes.
That, paired with hormone changes from lack of foo Continue reading

A Vaccine For Type 1 Diabetes Begins Human Trials in 2018

A Vaccine For Type 1 Diabetes Begins Human Trials in 2018

A prototype vaccine, decades in the making, that could prevent type 1 diabetes in children is ready to start clinical trials in 2018.
It's not a cure, and it won't eliminate the disease altogether, but the vaccine is expected to provide immunity against a virus that has been found to trigger the body's defences into attacking itself, potentially reducing the number of new diabetes cases each year.
Over two decades of research led by the University of Tampere in Finland has already provided solid evidence linking a type of virus called coxsackievirus B1 with an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to destroy cells in its own pancreas.
The type 1 form of diabetes – not to be confused with the more prevalent type 2 variety that tends to affect individuals later in life – is a decreased ability to produce the insulin used by the body's cells to absorb glucose out of the blood.
This loss of insulin is the result of pancreatic tissue called beta cells being destroyed by the body's own immune system, often within the first few years of life.
It's something of a mystery as to why the body identifies beta cells as foreign, though there could be a genetic link producing variations of human leukocyte markers, which act as the cell's 'ID tags'.
No doubt it's complex, and there are numerous ways this process can be triggered. One example established by virologist Heikki Hyöty from the University of Tampere is an infection by a type of enterovirus.
Enteroviruses are nasty pieces of work; you might be most familiar with polio, but they can also cause hand, foot and mouth disease, Continue reading

Keeping Up With the Diabetes News

Keeping Up With the Diabetes News

With the new year came a variety of diabetes-related news. First, reality show star Rob Kardashian was reportedly diagnosed with diabetes and hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). We can’t confirm or deny the specifics of these reports or what type of diabetes Kardashian may have, but we did notice many medical inaccuracies in the news, which is unfortunately all too common in content written about diabetes. As always, our thoughts are with the Kardashians and the thousands of families who face a diabetes diagnosis every day.
And as of Jan. 1, American Girl dolls can be outfitted with their own diabetes care kits, complete with an insulin pump, glucose tablets, a log book and more—all items used by people to take care of their diabetes, especially when they must take insulin. We celebrate any efforts to embrace diabetes awareness and inclusion, especially if it helps young people with diabetes feel more understood and less alone.
Diabetes ought to be front-page news year-round; we need a robust national conversation to fuel the fight against America’s most urgent chronic health crisis. Diabetes, in all its forms, is a very serious disease. But while every headline shines a much-needed spotlight, it can also leave room for confusion about type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The complexity of diabetes makes it ripe for myths and misinformation—so let’s get back to the basics. While there are certainly distinct differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, you may be surprised to learn how much they also have in common.
It starts with understanding the hormone insu Continue reading

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