Tablets to treat manage diabetes are successful in the long-term, finds Exeter study

University of Essex | June 2018 | “Miracle treatment” long-term success for babies with diabetes

A new international cohort study that looked at the use of  sulphonylurea tablets to treat neonatal diabetes has found that this form of treatment is successful over the long-term in managing this type of diabetesThis decade long study involved 81 patients  across 20 countries including Norway, Italy, France and Poland (via University of Essex).

Professor Hattersley said: “Switching from regular insulin injections was life-changing for these people who had been on insulin all their life; many described it as “a miracle treatment”.  Not only does this eradicate the need to inject with insulin several times a day, it also means much better blood sugar control. This is the first study to establish that this treatment is safe and works excellently for at least 10 years and all indications are that it will continue to work for decades more. This is great news for the thousands of patients who have made the switch from insulin.”


Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “It’s so important that people living with rare forms of diabetes, like neonatal diabetes, receive the right diagnosis and treatment. That’s why we are delighted to have been able to help fund this vital work, demonstrating for the first time that sulphonylurea tablets are a safe and effective way for some people with neonatal diabetes to manage their condition for the long term. Moving forward, we hope research will uncover ways to prevent the developmental issues people with neonatal diabetes face.

“Nine out of ten people with this condition can switch from insulin therapy when they get the right diagnosis, so we would like all children diagnosed with diabetes under six months to be tested for neonatal diabetes, so the right treatment can help them get the best start in life.”

The full news article is available from the University of Essex 

A journal article based on this research has now been published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

The full article “Effectiveness and safety of long-term treatment with sulfonylureas in patients with neonatal diabetes due to KCNJ11 mutations: an international cohort study”  can be read here

Diabetes test strips recalled in new alert

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency | May 2018| Diabetes test strips recalled in new alert

People with diabetes are advised to stop using and return specific lots of Accu-Chek Aviva and Accu-Chek Performa test strips following a recent recall by the manufacturer. 

Accu-Chek Inform II test strips have also been recalled but are supplied in the UK by Roche for professional use only.

The test strips may give increased strip error messages prior to dosing with blood and in some cases may give falsely high or low readings which may be hard to detect.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are urging users to check the lot numbers of their test strips against the lot numbers listed in the table below. More information can be found in this field safety notice. It is estimated that more than 260,000 packs have been affected.

If anyone finds they have test strips from the affected lots, they are advised to seek alternative testing methods and return affected lots to their pharmacy or shop where they will be offered a replacement.

It is also advised anyone with concerns about their blood glucose readings should discuss this with a healthcare professional.  (Source: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency)

The full release and a list of affected products can be read here

Source: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

In the media:

Daily Mail  Diabetes testing kits are urgently recalled amid fears they give false readings and could put lives at risk

New method to monitor blood sugar developed for diabetics

 Science Daily | April 2018 | Bloodless revolution in diabetes monitoring

A non-invasive patch which can measure blood glucose levels without the need for finger prick test has been developed at the University of Bath. The multi-disciplinary research team behind this innovation  included Scientists from the Departments of Physics, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, and Chemistry, hopes that it can eventually become a low-cost, wearable capable of  sending regular  glucose measurements to the wearer’s smartphone or smartwatch, in order to alert them when they may need to take action (via Science Daily).

adhesive-bandages-155776_1280The team tested the patch on pig skin,  and on healthy human volunteers,  in both tests the patch was able to track blood sugar variations throughout the day.   The researchers will now develop the patch by improving its design and optimising its sensors, so that it is effective for 24 hours wear, before undertaking  key clinical trials.  


Currently, there is no available needle-free approach for diabetics to monitor glucose levels in the interstitial fluid. Here, we report a path-selective, non-invasive, transdermal glucose monitoring system based on a miniaturized pixel array platform (realized either by graphene-based thin-film technology, or screen-printing). The system samples glucose from the interstitial fluid via electroosmotic extraction through individual, privileged, follicular pathways in the skin, accessible via the pixels of the array. A proof of principle using mammalian skin ex vivo is demonstrated for specific and ‘quantized’ glucose extraction/detection via follicular pathways, and across the hypo- to hyper-glycaemic range in humans. Furthermore, the quantification of follicular and non-follicular glucose extraction fluxes is clearly shown. In vivo continuous monitoring of interstitial fluid-borne glucose with the pixel array was able to track blood sugar in healthy human subjects. This approach paves the way to clinically relevant glucose detection in diabetics without the need for invasive, finger-stick blood sampling.

Full reference:
Lipani, L.,  Dupont, B. G. R., Doungmene,  F., Marken, F., Tyrrell, R.M, Guy, R.H. &  Ilie, A. | Non-invasive, transdermal, path-selective and specific glucose monitoring via a graphene-based platformNature Nanotechnology, 2018 DOI: 10.1038/s41565-018-0112-4

Rotherham NHS staff can request the article here 

Aspirin lowers risk of early death for patients with diabetes, heart failure

For people living with both Type 2 diabetes and heart failure, taking an aspirin each day appears to lower the risk of dying or being hospitalized for heart failure, according to new research. But the data also reveal aspirin use may increase the risk of nonfatal heart attack or stroke, a somewhat contradictory finding that surprised researchers | American College of Cardiology | via ScienceDaily

The study is the first to assess aspirin as a preventive measure for patients who have both diabetes and heart failure.  drug-1674890_1280

Using data from a United Kingdom database known as The Health Improvement Network (THIN), researchers extracted health records of more than 12,000 patients ages 55 and older who had Type 2 diabetes and heart failure but no prior history of heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease or atrial fibrillation. Roughly half had been prescribed daily aspirin and half had not.

Researchers analyzed health outcomes over an average of five years of follow-up. All-cause mortality and hospitalization for heart failure were tracked as a composite primary outcome. All-cause mortality, hospitalization for heart failure, major bleeding events and nonfatal heart attack or stroke were tracked separately as secondary outcomes. Those taking a daily aspirin were found to show a 10 percent decrease in the primary outcome, no difference in major bleeding events, and a 50 percent increase in nonfatal heart attack or stroke.

The research is limited in that it was based on a retrospective analysis of health records, rather than a randomized controlled trial. Further studies would help to confirm the findings, further elucidate the risks and benefits of aspirin use in this patient population, and potentially inform specific guidelines for treatment of patients with diabetes and heart failure.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Research: Can Aspirin Reduce Risk of Death in Patients With Diabetes, HF? | American College of Cardiology