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Published: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:01:20 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:01:20 GMT

 



New trial underway to test ViaCytes encapsulated islet cells treatment

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

New patients are being enrolled and are trialling a promising treatment for type 1 diabetes known as encapsulated islet cells. The 'Cohort 2' part of a currently-running trial from the California company, ViaCyte, is now underway. The first participants in this cohort (group of participants) have been implanted with the islet cells treatment known as PEC-Direct. The treatment involves having living islet cells implanted into the body. The treatment differs from regular islet cell transplantation as the cells are encased in a pouch which can be removed from the body. The treatment involves surgery to implant the pouch and those involved in the study need to take immunosuppressant drugs to help prevent the immune attack of type 1 diabetes from killing off the implanted cells too quickly. Up to 40 participants with type 1 diabetes will take part in the trial. The participants selected are those that have hypo unawareness, that puts them at high risk of developing severe hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar levels). The Cohort 2 part of the trial is larger than the initial Cohort 1, which involved up to 15 participants. The trial is designed to test the safety of the treatment, how well tolerated by the participants it is and how effective it is at treating type 1 diabetes. Within the trial, the patients with type 1 diabetes are implanted with several of the pouches filled with living islet cells. Each pouch is smaller than a credit card. The researchers will remove to inspect the pouches at intervals during the trial. This allows the researchers to monitor how the cells are behaving and how well the cells are surviving within the body. The immunosuppressant drugs that the participants will need to take increase the risk of developing infections. Participants with a high risk of severe hypoglycemia have been chosen to take part in the study as it provides the chance for the treatment to provide a significant benefit despite carrying risks of infection. The clinical trial is set to be completed in December 2020.



Breastfeeding associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Women who breastfeed for six months or more could be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a major US study. Researchers found this time spent breastfeeding was linked to a 47% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those who opted for bottle feeding. The findings support previous studies which have also suggested that breastfeeding offers substantial health benefits for both mother and baby. It is already known to help control insulin and blood sugar levels, while also helping new mums lose excess pregnancy weight. A total of 1,238 black and white women were examined, all of whom took part in a heart study entitled Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) in 1985. None of them had diabetes when they first joined up, or before they became pregnant. The study did not rely on the participants self-reporting their health, instead they were screened regularly before and after their pregnancies to ensure accurate readings. Among the criteria, participants were asked to report on their lifestyle habits, including diet and exercise, as well as their breastfeeding choices. Breastfeeding for less than six months was associated with a lower risk by a quarter, with lead author Erica Gunderson, a senior research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California, reporting: "We found a very strong association between breastfeeding duration and lower risk of developing diabetes, even after accounting for all possible confounding risk factors." Dr Tracy Flanagan, director of women's health for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, said: "We have known for a long time that breastfeeding has many benefits both for mothers and babies, however, previous evidence showed only weak effects on chronic disease in women. "Now we see much stronger protection from this new study showing that mothers who breastfeed for months after their delivery, may be reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to one half as they get older. This is yet another reason that doctors, nurses, and hospitals as well as policymakers should support women and their families to breastfeed as long as possible." According to the NHS, it is thought in the UK more than 73 per cent of mothers choose to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is thought to protect children from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), childhood leukaemia, obesity, cardiovascular disease and also type 2 diabetes in later life. However, breastfeeding is a personal choice for each woman as they may encounter problems such as cracked or sore nipples, engorged breasts or latching on problems. It is important expectant women or new mothers speak to their midwife to gather as much information as they can in a bid to make an informed decision about how they plan to feed their baby. The study findings have been published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.



Genetic defect causes high and low blood sugar, study reveals

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

A genetic mutation has been discovered which causes high and low blood sugar levels in the same family. The family studied comprised several individuals who had diabetes, while others had developed insulin-producing tumours known as insulinomas. These tumours typically cause blood sugar levels to drop. Scientists identified a genetic disorder in a gene called MAFA which regulates insulin production in beta cells, and this was present in both family members with maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) diabetes and those with insulinomas. When the findings were replicated in a second, unrelated family, researchers confirmed that this genetic defect is linked to both conditions. First author Dr Donato Iacovazzo from Queen Mary's William Harvey Research Institute said: "We believe this gene defect is critical in the development of [MODY diabetes] and we are now performing further studies to determine how this defect can, on the one hand, impair the production of insulin to cause diabetes, and on the other, cause insulinomas." The scientists from Queen Mary University of London, University of Exeter and Vanderbilt University report that this is the first time a defect in this gene has been associated with a disease, in this case diabetes. However, previous research from researchers in Tokyo carried out in 2006 identified the link between MAFA and MODY. They also observed that males were more likely to develop diabetes, with insulinomas more common in women. However, the reasons behind this difference are unclear. Because this gene can lead to two opposing medication conditions, the researchers are optimistic their findings could be used to develop ways of targeting both conditions. Lead author Professor Márta Korbonits said: "One exciting avenue to explore will be seeing if we can use this finding to uncover new ways to help regenerate beta cells and treat the more common forms of diabetes." The results have been published in the PNAS journal.



Type 1 diabetes associated with lower employment and earnings

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Employment and earnings are lower between the ages of 30 and 50 years old in people who developed type 1 diabetes in childhood, according to a Swedish study. The study looked to explore how much difference child-onset type 1 diabetes made on employment and earnings later into adulthood. The study looked into how four different factors (education, occupation, family formation and health) may indirectly influence the findings. The study used data from the Swedish Childhood Diabetes Register (SCDR), which records information on people with type 1 diabetes aged under 15 years of age. The SCDR has been active since 1 July 1977. The study included 4,179 adults with type 1 diabetes diagnosed in childhood and matched them to 16,983 adults without type 1 diabetes. The average age of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was 10 years old. The findings showed that type 1 diabetes had a negative effect on both employment and earnings by the time adults reached 30-50 years of age. The researchers note that health, choice of occupation, education and whether the adults formed a family together played a major part towards the effects on employment and earnings. One of the reasons highlighted by the researchers is that people with type 1 diabetes may choose certain jobs that better fit in with their management of diabetes. The results did not find that employment and earnings varied significantly as a result of the socioeconomic status of the family; that is the education and earnings of the parents of the people with type 1 diabetes. The researchers conclude that: "A large part of the effect of type 1 diabetes on the labour market is attributed to adult health but there are other important mediating factors that need to be considered to reduce this negative effect." The study is published in February's Diabetologia journal.



Woman pledges to drop type 2 diabetes medication after swimming 22 miles

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

A woman with type 2 diabetes has set her sights on swimming the same distance as the English Channel in a bid to raise money for charity. Jane Pack, from Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, has pledged she will swim 22 miles for Diabetes UK, and at the same time hopes to increase her fitness. Type 2 diabetes is normally associated with poor lifestyle and obesity, however it can be controlled or prevented by exercising and following a healthy diet. Jane, 54, underwent gastric bypass surgery last year, an operation that makes food eaten bypass most of the stomach and small intestine, so fewer calories are ingested. The process is successful at achieving weight loss partly because the stomach is made smaller and also because the main part of the small intestine that digests carbohydrate is bypassed. Since undergoing her operation, Jane has lost six stone and has stopped using insulin. She has also dropped dress size from a 24 to 16. She is hoping to continue losing weight and wants to eventually come off all her diabetes medication, in essence reversing her type 2 diabetes. She told This Is Local London: "I've always loved swimming and I wanted to challenge myself and do something to help raise money for Diabetes UK. I've been training for about a month now and am really enjoying it, but it is tough." Swim22 is a Diabetes UK challenge and was developed to raise awareness of diabetes and to encourage people to get active. The idea is participants sign up to swim 22 miles between February 22 and May 22. Those who wish to take part must apply beforehand to receive their Swim22 pack, featuring top tips, how to fundraise and a branded hat. The challenge can be carried out by a single person or split between a team of swimmers. An online tracker will also be available to help swimmers keep track of how far they have swum. To sponsor Jane visit her JustGiving page or visit www.diabetes.org.uk/swim22 to sign up to the challenge.



Speech recognition software could improve blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Speech recognition could help people with type 1 diabetes achieve better blood glucose levels after meals, according to new findings. A Polish study showed that people with type 1 diabetes on insulin pump therapy who used an automatic bolus calculator that recognised voice descriptions of meals had improved postprandial blood sugars. The VoiceDiab system comprises an Android-system smartphone with an app that communicates with three servers. These servers combine to create automatic speech recognition, text analysis and insulin dosage calculation. The servers follow an algorithm that transforms verbal descriptions of meal into text; analyses the descriptions to deduce amounts of carbohydrate, protein and fat; then calculates the insulin dose required. The algorithm takes advantage of the Polish system which combines carbohydrate with counting of protein and fats to achieve better control of blood sugar levels than carb counting alone. The WBT (wymienniki bialkowo-tluszczowe, which means protein-fat exchanges) system has been developed by one of the researchers, professor Ewa Pankowska. "The primary reasons for the use of software applications in bolus calculation are technological opportunities and the reduction of errors in dose calculation by patients using bolus calculators," explains Piotr Foltynski, PhD, of the Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. "Low numeracy is associated with poor diabetes control; therefore, the use of bolus advisors may bring benefits to the patients." In a study conducted between March 2015 and January 2016, 44 adults with type 1 diabetes treated with an insulin pump were randomised to either use the VoiceDiab system or not. Then, after a 14-day break, they switched groups. The VoiceDiab speech recognition group experienced better post-meal blood sugar levels compared to the non-support group, and no increased incidences of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia were observed. "The VoiceDiab system allows improving postprandial glucose control without increasing the time of hyper or hypoglycemia, and therefore, it seems to be a promising tool for use by patients with diabetes treated with insulin," concluded the authors. The findings have been published in the Journal of Diabetes.



Experimental nerve treatment restores insulin sensitivity

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

An experimental treatment on a major nerve restores insulin sensitivity in rats, according to a new study. The treatment involves electrically stimulating the carotid sinus nerve which sits next to the carotid artery, the main artery of the neck. The treatment is known as kilohertz frequency alternating current (KHFAC) modulation. Previous research had found that the carotid sinus nerve plays a part in insulin sensitivity and that when the nerve is dysfunctional (not working properly), metabolic diseases can develop. The researchers from the CEDOC-NOVA Medical School in Lisbon, Portugal tested the treatment on one group of rats and compared them to another group that had a sham surgery (which is not meant to work). Both groups were fed a high energy diet that was high in both fat and sugar. The rats that had KHFAC modulation benefitted from better glucose levels, lower insulin levels and better insulin sensitivity than the control group that had the sham surgery. After the KHFAC modulation treatment was ceased, the level of insulin resistance returned to a higher level within five weeks. The use of electrical modulation appears to represent a step forward from previous treatments that involve ablating (destroying) parts of the carotid sinus body. The researchers note that these experiments are initially successful, but nerve regeneration occurs diminishing the long-term effects of the surgery. Stimulating the nerve electrically could allow the benefits to be sustained over the long-term and may therefore result in a better treatment. KHFAC modulation has been tested in humans at a low frequency. In these trials, the treatment showed evidence that it may help with achieving weight loss and resulted in no severe adverse events. The treatment may represent a hope for people who struggle very much to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. The good news is that many people have the power to improve insulin sensitivity and improve their type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes. Ready to improve your health in 2018? The Low Carb Program provides down-to-Earth, step-by-step guidance to help you eat healthily and rejuvenate your health.



64-year-old with type 2 diabetes lacing up his running boots for January challenge

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

A 64-year-old man has been running every day this month in a bid to put his type 2 diabetes into remission. Paul Taylor, who is from Barrowford in Lancashire, decided to change his lifestyle after alongside his type 2 diabetes he became more than four stone overweight and developed high blood pressure. Mr Taylor joined the Up and Active team based in his local area, sparking a New Year's health drive which is helping him to get fitter and live a healthier life. He is also taking part in 'Run Every Day' (RED) January to support mental health charity Mind, has completed the Couch to 5k initiative and signed up to Trawden Athletics Club. Within nine weeks he has managed to run five kilometres. So far, he has shed two and a half stone and got his blood glucose levels under control, leading to him coming off his type 2 diabetes medication. He told Lancashire Telegraph: "So at 64 years old, 16 stone and 10 pounds, which for me is more than four stone overweight and with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, I knew it had to be time to do something. "I set myself a few goals in the gym on the treadmill to walk further, a bit faster and with a slight gradient. "I've ran 69k since the start of January and I'm just going to keep on running. It's all for a worthy cause and is something I really enjoy doing." To sponsor Mr Taylor, visit his Just Giving page. As well as exercise, diet can also play a major role in the battle against type 2 diabetes. More than 250,000 people have signed up to our award-winning Low Carb Program, and results show that after 12 months users reduce their average HbA1c by 1.2% and 37% reduce their dependency on medication.



Lincolnshire hospitals open one-stop foot clinics for people with diabetes

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

New foot clinics have been introduced in Lincolnshire in a bid to reduce foot amputations in people with diabetes. The new initiative from Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital provides a one-stop foot clinic where patients can receive screening, scans, check-ups and treatment all in one visit. This type of delivery helps to reduce the time spent between appointments and for any diagnosed problems to be immediately treated. Mr Murali Subramaniam, a Vascular Surgeon on the team, said: "Time is so important in these cases and having to wait for a referral to the diabetes foot team or vascular team could make a real difference between a patient keeping their foot or having to have it amputated. It really is that serious." People with diabetes have a higher risk of foot problems, with one in 10 expected to develop a foot ulcer at some point in their life. However, keeping good control of blood glucose levels, eating healthily and getting regular exercise can lower this risk significantly. This new clinic set-up was instigated following statistics that revealed around 25 major amputations (above or below the knee) are performed each year in Lincolnshire because of diabetes. Significantly, 80% of these amputations could be prevented. The clinics bring together the expertise of a range of healthcare professionals including vascular and orthopaedic surgeons, as well as nurses and cast technicians. "Despite only running for a few weeks we are confident that we are going to see the new clinics having a positive impact, not only on the state of our patients' feet but also their overall health," added Dr Ammar Tarik, a Consultant Diabetologist at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. "By working so closely together we can prevent the risk of amputation - it is as simple as that. It also has a positive impact on our patients' general health, reduces mortality, reduces the number of hospital admissions, means fewer hospital outpatient visits for patients and improves their quality of life."



Diabetes linked with lower migraine risk

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

A new study shows that having diabetes is linked with a lower risk of suffering migraines. The news makes a welcome change from the usual news that links diabetes to higher rates of conditions. It is great to see that diabetes appears to confer some advantages. Migraine is a moderate or severe headache that presents as throbbing pain on one side of the head. It occurs in around one in five women and one in 15 men. Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to sound and light are other symptoms that may accompany migraine. The study was carried out by Norwegian researchers who used data from the Norwegian prescription database. A period of 10-years was reviewed for development of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or migraine. The data included over 100,000 people with diabetes. 92% of the people with diabetes had type 2 diabetes and 8% with type 1 diabetes. Incidence of migraine was 26% lower in people with type 1 diabetes than in the population with diabetes. The data was adjusted for age and sex to reach this figure. People with type 2 diabetes showed an 11% reduction in risk of migraines with the same adjustment. When education level was also factored in, the results for type 1 and type 2 diabetes were similar to each other. The researchers conclude that both types of diabetes were associated with a lower risk of migraine and that the results suggest that diabetes may present a protective factor against developing migraine. The way the study was run did not enable researchers to look into why people with diabetes were at lower risk of migraine. To date, the reasons why migraine occurs are not well understood. One theory is that they may result from chemical changes in the body that affect the nerves and blood vessels close to the brain. Hormonal changes may play a part in migraines and it is possible that this may be part of the reason why people with diabetes have a lower risk of migraine. Other possible factors include differences that may affect the blood vessels or nerves of people with diabetes. More research will be needed to investigate why people with diabetes show lower risk of migraine. The study is published in Cephalalgia: An International Journal of Headache.