Results of a small, observational study conducted at the University at Buffalo suggest that liraglutide, an injectable medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, also helps type 1 diabetics on insulin achieve optimal control of their blood glucose levels. If the findings are confirmed in a larger, prospective, randomized study now being planned by the UB researchers, they could mean the first significant, new treatment for type 1 diabetes since insulin was discovered and made available in the 1920s. The research has been published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Endocrinology. It also was recently presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston, where it received recognition as one of the most outstanding abstracts presented and the best in the field of diabetes. "Since the development of injectable insulin, there has been nothing definitive in terms of a significant advance in type 1 diabetes treatments," says Dr. Paresh Dandona, UB distinguished professor of medicine in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and senior author on the study. "That is the tragedy of the type 1 diabetic. This study shows that liraglutide can provide even well-controlled type 1 diabetics with additional benefits that help them achieve even better blood glucose levels," says Dr. Dandona. The patients on liraglutide, which is marketed as Victoza, also saw a reduction in appetite and food intake and the paper reports that body weight significantly fell in patients who took the drug for 24 weeks. The unfunded study was a retrospective analysis of data. It was conducted at Kaleida Health's Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York, which Dr. Dandona directs. At the start of the study, all 14 patients had hemoglobin A1C levels of under 7, which is considered optimal.
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