Australian researchers have discovered that people with type 1 diabetes who use insulin pumps have near-normal nerve function, even if they have had type 1 diabetes for a long time.
Peripheral nerve damage can be a common complication of type 1 diabetes. Although maintenance of blood glucose levels within a recommended range can minimise the development of diabetes-related complications, nerve damage can still occur to some extent in 30-50% of people with type 1 diabetes.
The researchers in this study compared nerve function of people with type 1 diabetes on multiple daily injections (MDI), people with type 1 diabetes using insulin pumps, and people without type 1 diabetes. They found that people using insulin pumps had nerve function that was similar to people without diabetes, whereas people using MDI had measurable nerve damage, even when their HbA1C levels were the same.
This study suggests that insulin pump therapy may have a protective effect on nerve function, which may be related to less variability in blood glucose levels. Further investigation into the impact of different insulin therapies on long-term health outcomes in type 1 diabetes is needed to identify the best therapeutic strategies to prevent diabetes-related health complications.
Read the original journal article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25066412