By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – Blood glucose is vital to human health. As the Mayo Clinic notes, it is an important source of energy for the cells that make up the muscles and tissues, as well as the brain’s main source of fuel. Anyone with diabetes, no matter what the type, has too much glucose in their blood, which in turn can lead to serious health problems. Here are three things to know about this condition:
- Diabetes symptoms can vary: Symptoms vary based on how elevated the blood sugar is. Some of the signs and symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and irritability, as well as blurred vision, slow-healing sores and frequent infections, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Complications develop gradually: The longer a person has diabetes, the higher the risk of complications. As the Mayo Clinic reports, these can include cardiovascular disease; damage to the nerves resulting in tingling, numbness or pain that begins in the extremities and spreads upward; damage to the kidney, eye and foot; skin conditions; and hearing impairment.
- Technical advances are enhancing diabetes research: “Better understanding of the pathophysiological changes in insulin-producing beta cells is critical to advances in diabetes research,” says Jeff Duchemin, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience, a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of solutions to advance life science.
To help diabetes researchers study beta cells, Multi Channel Systems (MCS), a subsidiary of Harvard Bioscience, recently launched its Beta-Screen-System. This product utilizes the multielectrode array (MEA) technology that is at the core of MCS products to collect information about the electrical activity of cells.
Since beta cell electrical activity is affected by changing amounts of glucose, the Beta-Screen-System can help diabetes researchers in two ways. First, to model the behavior of beta cells in a laboratory setting to test the effectiveness of new treatment methods. Second, to gain a better understanding of the changes in pathology to beta cells during the progression of diabetes. In both examples, the Beta-Screen-System offers researchers a new, faster and less-invasive method of looking at beta cell activity.
“Tomorrow’s advances in diabetes research are going to stem from research innovations being applied today, and technology that improves scientists’ ability to collect data is bound to play a key role,” Duchemin adds.