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Local summit to focus on new research about type 1 diabetes

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On the heels of a tremendous technological advancement with the FDA's approval of the first ever hybrid closed-loop artificial pancreas system, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Middle Tennessee will host the JDRF Type One Nation Summit on Jan. 21 in Franklin, Tenn. The JDRF Type One Nation Summit is an opportunity for families and individuals affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) to network with other families and learn about exciting new research on the horizon--like the recent FDA approval of the first artificial pancreas system.

T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. T1D strikes both children and adults at any age and suddenly. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. Though T1D's causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers play a role. There are currently no preventative measures to be taken, and there is no cure.

People living with T1D are dependent on insulin either through multiple daily injections or through the use of an insulin pump. Patients must test their blood sugar several times a day. The continuous glucose monitor is an available system that reads a person's blood sugar level continuously through a sensor in the skin. The recent FDA approval of the closed-loop system marries the continuous glucose monitor with the insulin pump, significantly decreasing the risk of dangerously elevated blood sugar levels. It's a tremendous advancement in the management of T1D.

"This recent announcement is a historical achievement for JDRF and the entire T1D community," said Derek Rapp, JDRF president and CEO. "After years of laying the groundwork, this life-changing breakthrough is a true testament to the reason JDRF exists, which is to accelerate ways to cure, prevent and treat this disease."

Annie Shultz, Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet project manager for the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle, will be the keynote speaker at this year's JDRF Type One Nation Summit. Shultz was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 21 and has participated in trials for the artificial pancreas project. Shultz's father, diagnosed in 1964 at the age of 19, passed away from complications related to T1D.

"My story can be difficult to share," Shultz said. "But I tell it because it demonstrates very clearly the tremendous advancements that are a direct result of JDRF funded research."

JDRF has been enabling rapid progress in a number of areas, including this approval of this first closed-loop insulin delivery system. It's the culmination of years of hard work developing reliable sensor technology, insulin absorption algorithms and proving the tech integration in clinical trials. Vanderbilt University Medical Center participates in TrialNet and receives almost $4 million in funding through JDRF. Vastly improved treatments like this system will give those living with T1D health while JDRF continues research on prevention and accelerating research toward a cure.

Join JDRF at the Type One Nation Summit on Jan. 21 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Embassy Suites, 820 Crescent Centre Dr., in Franklin, Tenn. Advance registration is available at jdrfmiddletennesseeton.eventbrite.com.


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