A Canadian research team working on the development of an external artificial pancreas is receiving a grant of $2,509,367 USD from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The objective of the project, which will be led by Dr. Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret (adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine) at McGill University) at the IRCM (Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal), is to compare the effectiveness of the single-hormone (insulin alone) artificial pancreas, the dual-hormone (insulin and glucagon) artificial pancreas, and conventional insulin pump therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.
“Most patients with type 1 diabetes show difficulty in maintaining their glucose levels within recommended target ranges,” says Dr. Rabasa-Lhoret, endocrinologist and clinical researcher at the IRCM. “High blood glucose can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, kidney failure and heart disease, while low blood glucose can cause malaise and even comas. The artificial pancreas has a great potential to improve glucose control by reducing both high and low glucose levels, which should consequently improve health outcomes and patients’ quality of life.”