Blood Glucose Breakthrough: Readings Can Be Predicted in Advance

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 07:44 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Blood glucose levels can be predicted in advance, a team of Penn State researchers has found. It's a breakthrough that would allow Type 1 diabetics enough time to take preventive action ahead of any approaching fluctuations.

The new mathematical model can predict with more than 90 percent accuracy how a person's blood glucose levels could change up to 30 minutes in advance based on factors such as meal intake, insulin dose, emotional state, and rate of physical activity, the researchers said in a Penn State press release.

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"Many people with type 1 diabetes use continuous glucose monitors, which examine the fluid underneath the skin," Peter Molenaar, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State, said in the statement. "But the glucose levels under the skin trail blood glucose levels from anywhere between 8 and 15 minutes. This is especially problematic during sleep. Patients may become hypoglycemic well before the glucose monitor alarm tells them they are hypoglycemic, and that could lead to death."

Molenaar and his team published their findings in this week's issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

"We learned that the dynamic dependencies of blood glucose on insulin dose and meal intake vary substantially in time within each patient and between patients," Qian Wang, professor of mechanical engineering said in the statement. "The high prediction fidelity of our model over 30-minute intervals allows for the execution of optimal control of fast-acting insulin dose in real time because the initiation of insulin action has a delay of less than 30 minutes. Our approach outperforms standard approaches because all our model parameters are estimated in real time."

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