Friday April 3, 2020

Cure of Diabetes may be just a few years away

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Feb. 11, 2016: This video produced by Voice of America and brought to you by NewsGram highlights 2 things:
1. Insulin Pumps currently are automated, ie, you have to keep monitoring glucose levels and then decide the insulin dose to be given via Insulin pumps. The scientists say, in next 5 years, automated insulin pumps would become a reality.
2. Ongoing experiments in mice give hope that even the cure of diabetes may not be far away.

Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Excess sugar, or glucose, in your blood is not good.  But a healthy body regulates it through insulin, produced in the organ called the pancreas. If the body fails to do that, either because of genetics, or an unhealthy lifestyle, diabetics have to adopt a grueling routine of constant monitoring of blood sugar and injecting insulin for the rest of their lives.

Both insulin monitors and delivery devices called insulin pumps, are available, but so far, creating an automatic injector that does not require monitoring has proved to be a difficult problem.

After working on it for almost 20 years, scientists at Harvard University say they may be close to solving it.

Frank Doyle of Harvard University says: “In essence, we use a patient model, a computational model, a mathematical model, to forecast into the future. So we get a sense of how past insulin affects future glucose, how the past trajectory of glucose is going to play out for the next hour or two.”

Scientists say automatic insulin pumps should be on the market within five years.

Finding a cure for diabetes would be even better and these mice may  hold the key.

In the type of diabetes caused by genetic disposition, the human immune system kills pancreas cells that produce insulin.  A jello-like substance engineered in the laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shields those cells from the attack.

Daniel Anderson of Massachusetts Inst of Technology says: “We can take these human islets from stem cells and actually cure these diabetic mice for months. We have also shown that in primates we can put these little balls of new material in the abdominal space of primates and see that they don’t form scar tissue which is an important step towards thinking of using them in people.”

Scientists are optimistic that one way or another, or maybe with a combination of approaches, they will bring relief to diabetes sufferers within a few years. (GEORGE PUTIC, VOANEWS, WASHINGTON)

Next Story

Can AI Predict Diabetes Accurately? Find it Out Here

AI to predict future diabetes cases with 94% accuracy

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AI diabetes
Researchers have revealed that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) their trained computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) their trained computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes with an overall accuracy of 94.9 per cent.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Diabetes is linked to increased risks of severe health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Preventing diabetes is essential to reduce the risk of illness and death.

“Currently, we do not have sufficient methods for predicting which generally healthy individuals will develop diabetes,” said study lead author Akihiro Nomura from Kanazawa University in Japan. “Using machine learning, it could be possible to precisely identify high-risk groups of future diabetes patients better than using existing risk scores,” Nomura added.

For the findings, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, the researchers investigated the use of a type of artificial intelligence called machine learning in diagnosing diabetes.

AI diabetes
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Pixabay

Machine learning is a type of AI that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. The research team analysed 509,153 nationwide annual health checkup records from 139,225 participants from 2008 to 2018 in the city of Kanazawa in Japan.

Among them, 65,505 participants without diabetes were included. The data included physical exams, blood and urine tests and participant questionnaires.

Patients without diabetes at the beginning of the study who underwent more than two annual health checkups during this period were included.

New cases of diabetes were recorded during patients’ checkups, the researchers said.

Also Read- Here are the Health Benefits of Fermentation

The researchers identified a total of 4,696 new diabetes patients (7.2 per cent) in the study period. Their computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes with an overall accuracy of 94.9 per cent.

According to the authors, the next plan is to perform clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of using statins to treat groups of patients identified by the machine learning model as being at high risk of developing diabetes. (IANS)