This story was originally published in The Brigham and Women's Hospital Health Blog
Diabetes is an increasingly common disease. Overall, approximately nine percent of all Americans have diabetes. Over the age of 65, the prevalence of diabetes is even higher, affecting as many as one-fourth of these adults.
Diabetes is a disease that affects many organ systems over time. As a result, it's important that patients adhere to their medications. This can be challenging, however, due to the side effects that many patients experience with their diabetes medications.
In the video below, Dr. Marie E. McDonnell, Director of the Diabetes Management Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), describes BWH research focused on helping physicians select existing diabetes therapies more precisely, based on patient characteristics, to improve outcomes and minimize side effects. She also describes the development of a "bionic pancreas" in several centers around the world, a device that continuously monitors a patient's insulin levels and automatically delivers the appropriate level of insulin. Other novel programs being studied in the diabetes research community include beta cell restoration and islet cell transplantation.