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Pacemaker to Tackle Type-2 Diabetes

Updated at: Nov 23, 2011
Written by: PTIPublished at: May 08, 2011
Pacemaker to Tackle Type-2 Diabetes

Scientists have developed new pacemaker – style device that helps tackle type-2 diabetes by delivering electric pulses to stomach. The matchbox sized pacemaker stimulates stomach muscles while the patient is eating.

Diabetes blood check

Highlights of this article: Scientists have developed a new match box sized pacemaker style device that helps tackle type-2 diabetes effectively. The medical gadget is called Diamond or Diabetes Improvement and Metabolic Normalisation device delivers mild electric pulses to the stomach muscle while the patient is eating. This helps in releasing more insulin which removes excess sugar in the blood and also triggers the release of hormones that suppress appetite thus also helping weight reduction.


London, Mar 29 (PTI) Scientists have developed a new pacemaker-style device that delivers mild electric pulses to the stomach, an innovative medical gadget which they say could help tackle type-2 diabetes more effectively.

When implanted under the skin, the matchbox-sized gadget, called the Diamond -- or Diabetes Improvement and Metabolic Normalisation Device -- stimulates the stomach muscles while the patient is eating.    

This helps boost muscle movement resulting in the release of more insulin -- a hormone responsible for removing excess sugar in the blood, the Daily Mail reported.   

Previous studies on this device suggested that it leads to long-term lowering of blood glucose levels in overweight people with type-2 diabetes, which affects more than two million people in the UK alone.   

Developed by medical device company MetaCure, the device delivers electrical stimulation through two wires placed in the muscular layer of the stomach. The wires are tunneled under the skin to the generator.  

The device automatically senses when a patient is eating, by detecting when the stomach starts to naturally contract, and fires small painless electrical signals into the muscles of the stomach.

This tricks the brain into thinking more food has entered the stomach than the person has actually eaten.    

To deal with this supposedly large meal, the brain boosts insulin production as well as triggering the release of hormones that suppress appetite. This means that the patient feels full much sooner than normal.   

A wireless charger system allows the patient to recharge the device at home by placing the charger over the abdomen for 45 minutes, once a week.   

It also has a remote control which allows doctors to adjust the electrical signals to meet the needs of individual patients.  

Results of one of its trials at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, showed the device reduced blood glucose levels by a quarter over three months. Researchers said small-scale studies also showed that the device helps improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as an average weight reduction of up to 5kg over a year.   

Several large-scale trials are now underway in Europe and the US, and the device has been implanted in more than 200 people worldwide.   

Professor Nadey Hakim of Britain's Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust said: "This is an interesting concept, which is used in the US and in some European countries. If it does indeed decrease blood sugars by a quarter in three months, it would certainly have a future.  

"The other innovation here is that the batteries can be recharged externally, which is not the case in older varieties."


Read more articles on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Treatment.



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