The role of new technologies in treating children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus

S. Shalitin, Moshe Phillip*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Given the physiological and psychological impact of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents, these patients present special challenges to pediatric health care providers. The goals of intensive management of diabetes have been clearly established since the publication of the Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) in 1993 (1), which demonstrated that tight metabolic control achieved with intensive insulin therapy is superior to conventional treatment in reducing the risk of long-term microvascular complications. Thus, current recommendations mandate that youth with type 1 diabetes should aim to achieve metabolic control as close to normal as possible. However, strict glycemic control is hard to achieve requiring frequent blood glucose measurements and several insulin injections per day, and in addition is associated with an increased risk of severe hypoglycemia (1). Recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia, especially at young ages, may cause adverse effects on neurocognitive function, may lead to hypoglycemia unawareness, and may be associated with significant emotional morbidity for the child and parents. Since the discovery of insulin in 1921 there has been constant progress in the way patients with type 1 diabetes are treated. The introduction of recombinant insulin and insulin analogs as well as new insulin delivery systems and glucose monitoring devices enhanced the ability of both patients and medical teams to better define the therapeutic goals and to develop more effective therapeutic strategies. Recent advances in devices for insulin administration and glucose monitoring and the introduction of telemedicine are having a profound effect on the lives of youth with type 1 diabetes. This review focuses on the new technologies which have been developed for treating children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Volume8
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Keywords

  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Insulin analogs
  • Insulin pump therapy
  • Telemedicine

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