The Impact of Amaranth Supported Research
Research projects that the Order of the Amaranth have supported over these past 40 years has resulted in solution for different areas related to major advances in diabetes treatment and care including: the artificial pancreas; the leading therapy to treat eye disease related to diabetes; the development of genetic tests which can identify people at high risk for type 1 diabetes; the development of a new medication that improves glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Eugene J. Barrett, MD, PhD
EXERCISE AND TYPE 2 DIABETES
Dr. Barrett discovered that moderate exercise can improve the ability of insulin to regulate blood flow and glucose uptake in muscle, process which are impaired in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Exercise is now considered a staple to good management of type 2 diabetes and preventing progression of prediabetes.
Michael Freemark, MD
Dr. Freemark demonstrated that hormones produced by the placenta and brain of the mother are critical for maintenance of normal metabolism during pregnancy. Through greater understanding of the hormonal control of maternal and neonatal metabolism, scientists are now working to prevent the transgenerational impact of gestational diabetes.
Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD
DIABETES AND EYE DISEASE
Dr. Hatnett conducted research into a molecule that could potentially be targeted to treat vision loss related to diabetes. Several different therapies have now been developed which target this molecule and are helping people with diabetes maintain their vision.
John Mordes, MD
GENETICS OF TYPE 1 DIABETES
Dr. Mordes identified and characterized a gene which accounts for some of the genetic risk of type 1 diabetes. Now, in select clinics, doctors are beginning to identify at-risk patients based on their genetics and can proactively monitor them before diabetes onset. A new study even showed that type 1 diabetes can be significantly delayed in people at high risk with a new therapeutic.
Michelle Perfect, PhD
SLEEP AND DIABETES
Dr. Perfect sought to examine if systematically increasing sleep in youth with type 1 diabetes would lead to improvements in behavior, cognitive performance, and glucose levels. Indeed, she found that when sleep duration increased, 1) glucose control improved; 2) internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression) decreased; and 3) reading fluency and cognitive tasks improved.
W. Kenneth Ward, MD
THE ARTIFICIAL PANCREAS
Dr. Ward developed a way to control glucose levels in diabetes by integrating an implantable device that measures glucose continuously, an insulin pump, and a mathematical model for controlling insulin levels from the glucose data. This early iteration of the artificial pancreas has since been further developed by more scientists and is close to reaching patients.