Desang diabetes magazine diabetes news



Type 1 diabetics have 'sleeping' insulin

cells which could be woken, say scientists,

according to a report in The Telegraph by

its Science Editor Sarah Knapton.

Scientists discovered that many of

their insulin-producing cells are not dead,

only dormant. For a long while scientists

thought that people developed Type 1

after the number of insulin producing cells

dropped by around 90%. But a new study

suggests that is only the case for very

young people. After the age of six, many

of the cells are still present, they have

just stopped functioning. Researchers

at the University of Exeter believe it may

be possible to awaken the dormant cells

and reverse the disease. Professor Noel

Morgan of Exeter University Medical

School has said, "This is incredibly

exciting, and could open the doors to new

treatments for young people who develop

diabetes. It was previously thought that

teenagers with Type 1 diabetes had

lost around 90% of their beta cells but,

by looking in their pancreas, we have

discovered that this is not true. In fact,

those diagnosed in their teens still have

many beta cells left - this suggests that

the cells are dormant, but not dead. If

we can find a way to reactivate these

cells so that they resume insulin release,

we may be able to slow or even reverse

progression of the disease."

The British team worked with scientists

at the University of Oslo to look at nearly 400

pancreas samples from people with Type

1 diabetes. The samples showed the first

evidence that children who are diagnosed

with Type 1 diabetes at the age of six years,

or under, develop a more aggressive form of

the disease. A condition known as insulitis,

representing an inflammatory process, kills

off nearly all the insulin-producing beta cells

in the pancreas of the young children. But

the progression of the disease is radically

different in those diagnosed as teenagers

or beyond, who retain unexpectedly large

numbers of beta cells at diagnosis - up to

50% are still present, although they are no

longer working as they should. Now that

scientists know that the insulin producing

cells are not lost, just inactive, they can start

looking for ways to switch them back on.

Karen Addington, UK Chief Executive

of Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, said: "A

child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at

the age of five faces up to 19,000 insulin

injections and 50,000 finger-prick blood

tests before they reach the age of 18. But

research can bring us closer to the day

we find the cure."

Dr Sarah Richardson, of the University

of Exeter Medical School was co-author

on the study. She said: "For trials to be

effective, we have to understand the

underlying causes of the disease. Our

next step is to investigate why diabetes

progresses differently in younger and older

children, with a view to understanding

how we could treat both groups more


The research was published in the

journal Diabetes. See the Telegraph article


NICE has developed a medtech innovation

briefing (MIB) on MiniMed 640G system

with SmartGuard for managing blood

glucose levels in people with Type 1


The MiniMed 640G integrated sensoraugmented pump therapy system with

SmartGuard is a continuous glucose

monitoring and insulin delivery system

for people withTtype 1 diabetes. It can

automatically suspend insulin delivery if

blood glucose is predicted to drop below

a pre-set level within 30 minutes.



The available clinical evidence on the

effectiveness and safety of the system is

limited to one abstract, which reports a

small, short-term prospective case series

in which the sensor-determined glucose

level did not reach a pre-set low limit in

most predictive insulin suspensions.

Two further proof-of-concept studies

showed that the same algorithm as that

used in the MiniMed 640G prevented

hypoglycaemia both during night hours

and during exercise. The MiniMed 640G

system (insulin pump and transmitter)

costs £3485 with additional consumable

costs of about £400 per month.

The MiniMed 640G with SmartGuard

is a new integrated sensor-augmented

pump therapy system, which became

available during the development of the

NICE diagnostics guidance on integrated

sensor-augmented pump therapy.

MIBs provide a description of the

medical technology, including its likely

place in therapy, the costs of using the

technology and a critical review of the

strengths and weaknesses of the relevant

published evidence. Their purpose is to

provide objective information on device

and diagnostic technologies to aid local

decision-making by clinicians, managers

and procurement professionals. By making

this information available, NICE helps to

avoid the need for NHS organisations to

produce similar information for local use.

MIBs are not NICE guidance. They differ

in format, contain no judgement on

the value of the technology and do not

constitute a guidance recommendation.

MIBs are commissioned by NHS England

and produced in support of the NHS 5

Year Forward View, specifically as one of

a number of steps which will accelerate

innovation in new treatments and


See the MIB articlee here:


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