Majithia, Amit Rajendra, MD
A proposal to design and test an automated, real time algorithm for hypoglycemia detection
General Research Subject: Both Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Focus: Complications, Complications\Hypoglycemia
Type of Grant: ADA-Medtronic Technology in Diabetes Fellowship
Project Start Date: July 1, 2012
Project End Date: June 30, 2013
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a dangerous complication of diabetes treatment that, when severe, can result in seizures, coma, and death. Hypoglycemia and fear of hypoglycemia can prevent patients and physicians from properly treating diabetes to prevent complications of high blood sugar such as blindness and kidney failures.
Prior research has demonstrated that it is possible, in the controlled setting of a research study, to use prior blood sugar numbers to predict a person's chance of becoming hypoglycemic. The investigators of this study are working to develop a computerized hypoglycemia prediction tool that can be of practical use during daily patient life. Their tool incorporates real-world information such as finger stick glucose values and dosing from insulin pumps to assess a person's risk of becoming hypoglycemic in the next 24 hours and then provide a warning if necessary. Since individual patients have their own unique patterns of blood glucose fluctuation and responsiveness to insulin, the investigators will tailor the prediction tool to individuals to determine if this improves hypoglycemia prediction over a "one size fits all" approach.
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating and/or curing diabetes?
This project covers the area of hypoglycemia prediction which is a complication of treatment in diabetic patients. The occurrence of low blood sugars as a side effect of changing treatment causes patient distress and in severe cases harm and even death. The fear of this complication inhibits health care providers from aggressively treating high blood sugars. The goal of this project is to develop methods to detect impending low blood sugars to increase patient safety and reduce uncertainty.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future, how would you respond?
The goal of this project is to develop a simple computer model that can be tailored to the individual for predicting low blood sugars. Successful prediction would allow a person with diabetes to be warned of low blood sugar before it happens giving that individual an opportunity to avoid the low blood sugar event.
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your research efforts?
I have several family members with diabetes and seeing the difficulty they have had to undergo with things that people without diabetes can take for granted moved me when I was in high school. This award will allow me to attempt a new method of predicting low blood sugars, which if successful, can help prevent this complication for diabetics.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
This is an exciting time for diabetes research both clinically with new medications coming to market as well as at the lab bench with the study of newly discovered diabetes-related genes from large human genetic studies. The current state-of-the art has turned diabetes from a fatal disease to a chronic, life-long illness. I am hopeful that the future will yield therapies that will actually reverse the disease, not just treat it.
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