BY SERENA GORDON: Children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at an early age have slowed growth in brain areas linked to mild cognitive deficits, new research suggests.
The study compared MRIs of the brain in kids with type 1 diabetes to age-matched children without the condition. Researchers also saw that areas of slower brain growth were associated with higher average blood sugar levels.
“We found significant detectable and persistent differences in the volume of different brain areas that participate in a lot of cognitive functions. There was slower growth across the board in the brain,” said Dr. Nelly Mauras, co-principal investigator of the study. She’s chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology at Nemours Children’s Health System in Jacksonville, Fla. (read more)
BY DREW BOXLER: The FDA has approved Victoza (liraglutide, Novo Nordisk), to treat type-2 diabetes in pediatric patients 10 years and older. Though Victoza was approved for use in adults in 2010, this is the first noninsulin drug to be approved for the use in pediatric patients since 2000. The approval comes nearly two months after the completion of the first-ever Phase 3 clinical trial that included children and adolescents with type-2 diabetes in over a decade.
BY NAJJA PARKER: Researchers from Penn Medicine and Stony Brook University recently conducted a study, published in the PLOS ONE journal, to determine if social media posts can be indicators of 21 health conditions, including diabetes, anxiety, depression and psychosis.
To do so, they examined the entire Facebook post history of nearly 1,000 patients who agreed to have their electronic medical record data linked to their profiles. Researchers then built three models to assess the subjects’ “predictive power.” One evaluated their Facebook post language; the second looked at demographics, such as age and sex; and the last one combined the first two datasets. (read more)
BY AIMEE CUNNINGHAM: The rotavirus vaccine may have an unexpected benefit: a reduced likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes.
The vaccine is highly effective at protecting against intestinal infections caused by the virus (SN: 8/8/15, p. 5). Past work in mice prone to diabetes suggests infection with rotavirus can hasten damage to beta cells in the pancreas, the cells that are destroyed in a person with type 1 diabetes.
Researchers analyzed private insurance data, covering 2001 to 2017, for close to 1.5 million U.S. children who were infants at the time of enrollment. Among children fully vaccinated against rotavirus, there was a 41 percent reduction in the incidence of type 1 diabetes compared with unvaccinated children, the team reports online June 13 in Scientific Reports. (read more)
BY JACK WOODFIELD: The Apple Watch will soon receive improved glucose tracker support for people with diabetes, according to Kevin Sayer, the CEO of Dexcom.
Sayer has reported that Dexcom has been working on a tracker which enables glucose readings to be sent directly from the company’s G6 monitor to the Apple Watch, bypassing smartphones to ensure a more efficient and responsive service system.
It is one of a series of upgrades to the G6 due within the next 12 months. “It’s coming, and this tool is great for people with diabetes,” said Sayer. (read more)