Dear Friends,

At this year’s annual ADA Scientific Sessions much of the news was about the benefits of the newer type 2 diabetes medications on the kidney and the heart.  However, I was most interested in the research about people with type 1 diabetes. Among other studies, the WISDM Trial, which we participated in, showed that continuous glucose monitoring in people aged 60 and older, can reduce episodes of hypoglycemia.

Of particular note was the first ever finding that a medication that suppresses the immune system (Teplizumab) can slow progression to diabetes in people at high risk for type 1. It basically meant two years more time before insulin was needed. This is not a cure, but two years without insulin can be quite a relief for people who are getting close to needing it.

There were topline results about a new oral medication know as a glucokinase activator that may help treat people with type 1 diabetes. It didn’t stop the need for insulin, but it lowered A1C’s and insulin requirements and it may make diabetes easier to manage. It is now being studied in larger groups of people.

Finally, many technology companies showcased their ever advancing systems for treating diabetes. Certain systems, like the Tandem pump with Control IQ looked particularly promising and should be out by the end of the year.

The most disappointing news come from the diabetes prevention trial that hope to show that vitamin D could prevent the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. Our East Los Angeles location was one of the trial sites. The details of the results are reported in our East LA research update. The one positive finding was that if the vitamin D level was very low (12 or below) vitamin D did seem to help.

The San Francisco location of this year's ADA meeting is the nation's hotbed of policy innovations to reduce the consumption of sugary beverages. Mark created several videos on this and other topics that will be shown on Medscape (free registration is required). Keep an eye for updates on either the USC Westside Center for Diabetes Twitter stream or Facebook page to know when the videos post.

Closer to home, we very excited about our new capability to conduct telehealth visits. This took two years to implement and we are one of the first at USC to have this capacity. Our nurse educator, Mary Rose, was the leader on this initiative. Our doctors, nurse practitioner and diabetes educator can perform follow-up visits through a secure video connection and reduce the need to travel to clinic. I personally love this new way to have a clinic visit for those where driving to clinic is a barrier. Here is how the system works.

We also have research updates from both the East and West side of town, and new Learning Sessions for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Many of our patients have been asking if there was a way to support our programs and research directly. There are several ways to do this.  For more information contact Valerie Ruelas: 323-361-8416 or vruelas@usc.edu.

 

Sincerely,

Anne

 

Message from the Director