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September 24, 1986 | MARCIDA DODSON, Times Staff Writer
In the first trial studies of their kind in the United States, diabetes specialists from UC Irvine and Johns Hopkins University have been given approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to surgically implant insulin pumps, UCI officials said Tuesday.
August 20, 1990 | Compiled from Times staff and wire reports
An experimental transplant operation designed to free diabetics from insulin injections has produced the most promising results since the technique was developed, researchers reported last week. The procedure enabled five of nine patients to significantly reduce their need for daily insulin injections, including one 16-year-old Louisville, Ky., girl who has remained completely independent of injections for more than six months, the researchers reported. "I'm completely excited," said Dr.
November 1, 2010 | By Amanda Leigh Mascarelli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Every night, Edward Damiano wakes three to four times to monitor his 11-year-old son's blood sugar levels. Damiano administers insulin remotely through a pump when his son's blood sugar reading is high or gives him juice through a straw when his blood sugar falls. His son, David, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 11 months old, sleeps peacefully through it all ? and that's exactly what worries Damiano. "You can check his blood sugar all night long and he won't wake up," Damiano says.
December 1, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
On Thursday the Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidelines for researchers and manufacturers working to develop and build an artificial pancreas to help patients with Type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar. About 3 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, which develops when cells in the pancreas stop producing enough insulin to control blood sugar.  Patients with the disease must monitor their blood glucose aggressively.  If it goes too high, they have to carefully calculate how much insulin they need to bring it in line -- and then get an injection.  If a person with Type 1 diabetes' blood sugar drops too low, he or she could require a dose of another hormone, glucagon, to raise it back up. The unrelenting and error-prone process can be exhausting, so patient advocacy groups such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have been pushing the development of an artificial pancreas that would tightly control blood sugar levels much as the actual organ: monitoring glucose levels continually and automatically delivering the right dose of insulin, through a pump, into the body.  The system would work by connecting the monitoring system to a computer, which in turn would calculate the correct insulin dose and send a signal to the insulin pump to deliver the needed hormones.
Scientists have delayed the onset of full-blown Type 1 diabetes in young people for at least a year with a two-week drug treatment that blocked a specific part of the youths' immune systems. Patients taking the drug continued to produce their own insulin and required fewer and smaller insulin shots than those who were not treated, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
February 23, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Human embryonic stem cells transformed into nearly normal insulin-producing cells when implanted into mice, possibly offering a way to treat diabetes long-term, according to research published online in the journal Nature Biotechnology. A team from Novocell Inc. in San Diego used embryos discarded by fertility clinics, implanting immature cells under the skin and into other areas of the mice. For reasons that are not completely understood, chemicals in the animal's body directed them to begin producing insulin and other enzymes normally produced by pancreatic islets.
May 31, 1987 | DELTHIA RICKS, United Press International
Antibodies and white blood cells called lymphocytes are nature's front-line soldiers in the defense against disease, but they do not always mount a fair fight. Sometimes these immune system components play cruel tricks on the very people they are supposed to protect, rendering a person helpless against the aggressiveness of a disease-fighting system gone awry. Such has been the scenario in rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia and lupus erythematosus.
In a finding that is likely to dramatically change the way diabetes is treated, federal researchers have concluded that breaking the daily insulin requirement into smaller, more frequent doses and adjusting dosage size to achieve "tight control" of blood sugar levels significantly reduces the number of complications that diabetics suffer.
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