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'Giant leap' towards new diabetes treatment

Harvard stem cell researchers today announced they have made a giant leap forward in the quest to find a truly effective treatment for Type 1 diabetes.

With human embryonic stem cells as a starting point, the scientists are for the first time able to produce, in the kind of massive quantities needed for cell transplantation and pharmaceutical purposes, human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in most every way to normally functioning beta cells.

Doug Melton, who led the work and who twenty-three years ago, when his then infant son Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, has dedicated his career to finding a cure for the condition, said he hopes to have human transplantation trials using the cells to be underway within a few years. To read more, click here.

Hospitals raise awareness of hypoglycaemia

Almost 150 diabetes hospital teams took part in Hypo Awareness Week 2014.

The aim of the week, which ran from September 29 to October 5, was to raise awareness of hypoglycaemia in the inpatient setting to help hospital staff recognise and treat symptoms and refer patients to appropriate care teams.

A total of 148 sites, mainly UK hospitals, signed up to take part, which involved staging awareness events, training and running campaigns all geared up to promote the importance of hypoglycaemia.

This year Novo Nordisk was the official partner for Hypo Awareness Week 2014, with support from Diabetes UK and DESMOND. Portsmouth Hospitals launched it in 2012. To read more, click here.

Young people with diabetes receive fewer vital checks

People with diabetes aged under 40 receive fewer vital checks and hit treatment targets less often than older age groups, new figures show.

The National Diabetes Audit 2012-2013 presents findings for the care of over two million people in England and Wales with diabetes. It found that of 130,000 patients under the age of 40, only 29.1 per cent with Type 1 diabetes and 46.3 per cent with Type 2 diabetes received eight of the nine NICE recommended care processes.

The annual checks assess the effectiveness of diabetes treatment, as well as cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure (BP), serum cholesterol, body mass index (BMI) and smoking and the emergence of early complications. To read more, click here.