Read article from MailOnline:”Pacemaker for your tum to stop sugar overload for diabetes sufferers”
- March 29, 2011
MailOnline Article, March 29, 2011
The matchbox-sized gadget, implanted under the skin on the abdomen, stimulates the stomach muscles when the patient is eating. Studies show this boost in muscle movement causes more insulin to be released. This hormone is responsible for removing excess sugar in the blood.
Previous studies on this device suggest this leads to long-term lowering of blood glucose levels in overweight people with type-2 diabetes.
The condition, which affects more than two million people in the UK, is linked to obesity and caused by the cells of the body becoming immune to the effects of insulin. Blood sugar levels climb too high, which causes damage throughout the body.
The new device, called the Diamond (Diabetes Improvement And Metabolic Normalisation Device) is implanted under the skin. It delivers electrical stimulation through two wires placed in the muscular layer of the stomach. The wires are tunnelled under the skin to the generator.
The device automatically senses when a patient is eating, by detecting when the stomach starts to naturally contract, and fires small painless electrical signals into the muscles of the stomach.
This tricks the brain into thinking more food has entered the stomach than the person has actually eaten. To deal with this supposedly large meal, the brain boosts insulin production as well as triggering the release of hormones that suppress appetite.
This means that the patient feels full much sooner than normal.
A wireless charger system allows the patient to recharge the device at home by placing the charger over the abdomen for 45 minutes, once a week. A remote control allows doctors to adjust the electrical signals to meet the needs of individual patients.
Results of one trial at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, showed the device reduced blood glucose levels by a quarter over three months.
Researchers say small-scale studies also show improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as an average weight reduction of up to 5kg over a year.
Several large-scale trials are now underway in Europe and the U.S., and the device has been implanted in more than 200 people worldwide.
Professor Nadey Hakim, consultant transplant and bariatric surgeon at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, said: ‘This is an interesting concept, which is used in the U.S. and in some European countries.
‘If it does indeed decrease blood sugars by a quarter in three months, it would certainly have a future. The other innovation here is that the batteries can be recharged externally, which isn’t the case in older varieties.’