New artificial pancreas ‘could change lives’
An artificial pancreas which can work for 12 weeks could help to radically change the lives of children with type 1 diabetes.
The recent trial, which was conducted by the University of Cambridge and funded by JDRF, a charity dedicated to funding type 1 diabetes research, saw the artificial pancreas work successfully for three months.
This means the technology can now can offer a whole school term of extra freedom for children with the condition.
Previous trials done on artificial pancreases for people at home, work and school have been limited to short periods of time.
The research, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, saw the technology safely provide three whole months of use.
The role of the artificial pancreas is to control the person’s blood glucose levels automatically.
Daniel Wall is a 12-year-old boy with type 2 diabetes and participated in the trial.
His mother Susan said: “Daniel goes back to school this month after the summer holidays – so it’s a perfect time to hear this wonderful news that the artificial pancreas is proving reliable, offering a whole school term of support.
“The artificial pancreas could change my son’s life, and the lives of so many others. Daniel has absolutely no hypoglycaemia awareness at night. His blood glucose levels could be very low and he wouldn’t wake up. The artificial pancreas could give me the peace of mind that I’ve been missing.”
Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: “JDRF launched its goal of perfecting the artificial pancreas in 2006. These results today show that we are thrillingly close to what will be a breakthrough in medical science.”
Dr Roman Hovorka, Lead Artificial Pancreas Researcher at the University of Cambridge, said: “The data clearly demonstrate the benefits of the artificial pancreas when used over several months. We have seen improved glucose control and reduced risk of unwanted low glucose levels.”