Mazenod College student the first to take part in world-first type 1 diabetes trial

Jake O’Brien is the first patient to be recruited into the world’s longest and largest trial hoping to improve the lives of young people living with type 1 diabetes.
Jake O’Brien is the first patient to be recruited into the world’s longest and largest trial hoping to improve the lives of young people living with type 1 diabetes.

MAZENOD student Jake O’Brien is the first patient to be recruited into the world’s longest and largest trial hoping to improve the lives of young people living with type 1 diabetes.

The Children’s Diabetes Centre at the Telethon Kids Institute is leading the longest and largest at-home trial of a hybrid closed-loop insulin pump system – a device that is a step towards an artificial pancreas.

The six-month trial involves participants testing an automated insulin delivery system to see if it is better at optimising blood glucose levels than standard therapy.

The Australia-wide study, which is still recruiting, will include 160 participants aged 12 to 25 and 120 adults aged 26 to 70 years.

Children’s Diabetes Centre co-director Tim Jones said researchers wanted to understand whether hybrid closed-loop systems could improve the quality of life of type 1 diabetics, in addition to any healthcare system savings this type of treatment could bring.

“The hybrid closed-loop system consists of an insulin pump, sensor with transmitter attached and a maths program (an algorithm) within the pump that automatically works out how much insulin is needed and is adjusted every five minutes,” he said.

“This study will tell us if using this system is better than either insulin injections or normal insulin pump therapy at keeping blood glucose levels within the normal range.

“Researchers will also explore how this technology affects how people feel about managing diabetes, specifically by improving their blood glucose levels, reducing diabetes complications and making treatment easier; which all goes towards reducing the burden of diabetes.”

Jake (16) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 14 and decided to get involved in the trial because he believed the only way to improve outcomes for people with diabetes was through research.

“I’m hoping that my participation will result in a greater understanding and awareness for diabetes which will in turn, improve the treatment options and outcomes for people living with type 1 diabetes,” he said.

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