IU researchers to use $5 million grant to improve diabetes management in children

November 12, 2015

With a $5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, an Indiana University-led team will develop and test interventions to help families with young children with type 1 diabetes better manage the disease.

Linda A. DiMeglio, M.D., M.P.H | Photo By IU School of Medicine

The project, led by Linda A. DiMeglio, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine, will focus on barriers to the use of new diabetes management technologies, such as continuous glucose monitoring systems, in children younger than 8 years old.The goal, Dr. DiMeglio said, is to make it easier for parents to help their children keep their blood sugar levels within recommended ranges and improve quality of life for families.

"We have known for a long time that low blood sugar levels are bad for the developing brain, but there's evidence from recent studies that high blood sugar levels also affect brain development. So there’s a great need to work with families and caregivers of young children to get more of their blood sugars in range," Dr. DiMeglio said.

About 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce insulin that is needed to convert glucose into energy. Those with the disease must take insulin to keep blood sugars as close to normal as possible. Dangers of low blood sugar levels include seizure and coma. High blood sugar levels can also be life-threatening and over time can lead to chronic complications.

For more on the interventions, visit IUSM Newsroom.