Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Metabolomics & Lipidomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Dogs Could Act as Effective Early-Warning System for Patients with Diabetes

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Dogs that are trained to respond to their owners’ hypoglycaemia could offer a very effective way to alert diabetic patients of impending lowered blood sugars.

The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first academic study to assess whether trained dogs could be used as a reliable early-warning system to monitor glycaemia control.

The Company of Animals-funded study, led by academics at the University of Bristol, investigated whether specially trained ‘glycaemia alert dogs’ could accurately and consistently detect the signs of low/high blood sugar in their owners and alert them when levels were reported to be outside their target range.

A total of seventeen dogs which have been trained by Medical Detection Dogs to alert their owners when their blood sugars were out of target range were studied. While some dogs had been specifically chosen for their potential to work as a ‘glycaemia alert dog’, mostly donated to and trained by the charity, others were clients’ pets which had been trained in situ.

The research team collected data from the dogs owners’ that allowed them to assess objectively whether trained dogs reliably respond to their owners’ hypoglycaemic state, and whether owners experienced tightened glycaemic control, and wider psychosocial benefits.

The findings showed that since obtaining their dog, all seventeen clients studied reported positive effects including reduced paramedic call outs, decreased unconscious episodes and improved independence. Owner-recorded data showed that dogs alerted their owners, with significant, though variable, accuracy at times of low and high blood sugar.

Dr Nicola Rooney, the study’s lead author and a research fellow in the University’s School of Veterinary Sciences, said: “Despite considerable resources having been invested in developing electronic systems to facilitate tightened glycaemic control, current equipment has numerous limitations. These findings are important as they show the value of trained dogs and demonstrate that glycaemia alert dogs placed with clients living with diabetes, afford significant improvements to owner well-being including increased glycaemic control, client independence and quality-of-life and potentially could reduce the costs of long-term health care.

Eight out of the ten dogs (for which owners provided adequate records) responded consistently more often when their owner’s blood sugars were reported to be outside, than within, target range. Comparison of nine clients’ routine records showed significant overall change after obtaining their dogs, with seven clients recording a significantly higher proportion of routine tests within target range after obtaining a dog. The study confirms that trained detection dogs perform above chance level.

Dr Rooney added: “Some of the owners also describe their dogs respond even before their blood sugars are low but as they start to drop, so it is possible that the dogs are even more effective than this study suggests.  While it is believed that dogs use their acute sense of smell to detect changes in the chemical composition of their owner’s sweat or breath to respond to glycaemic control, further research is now needed to further understand how dogs carry out this amazing task.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Molecular Modelling to Help Create Better, Safer Drugs
How our bodies break down the common drugs ibuprofen, diclofenac and warfarin is the subject of a new study from the University of Bristol.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Scientific News
New ACE-inhibiting Molecule Found in the Asparagus
Scientists have determined that sulfur-containing compounds in plants can inhibit ACE.
A Metabolic Master Switch Underlying Human Obesity
Researchers find pathway that controls metabolism by prompting fat cells to store or burn fat.
Shedding Light On Century-Old Biochemical Mystery
Yale scientists have used magnetic resonance measurements to show how glucose is metabolized in yeast to answer the puzzle of the “Warburg Effect.”
PTR-MS Breath Test Shows Potential for Detecting Liver Disease
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have published results that suggest a non-invasive breath test for liver disease using an IONICON PTR-MS.
Metabolon and BCM Show Metabolomics May Play Key Role in Precision Medicine
Metabolon’s technology enhances understanding of genetic data and improves health assessment in newly published study.
Newly Discovered Cells Restore Liver Damage in Mice Without Cancer Risk
The liver is unique among organs in its ability to regenerate after being damaged. Exactly how it repairs itself remained a mystery until recently, when researchers supported by the NIH discovered a type of cell in mice essential to the process
Study Finds Cutting Dietary Fat Reduces Body Fat More than Cutting Carbs
In a recent study, restricting dietary fat led to body fat loss at a rate 68 percent higher than cutting the same number of carbohydrate calories when adults with obesity ate strictly controlled diets.
Inappropriate Medical Food Use in Managing Patients with a Type of Metabolic Disorder
Researchers have proposed that there is a need for more rigorous clinical study of dietary management practices for patients with IEMs, including any associated long-term side effects, which may in turn result in the need to reformulate some medical foods.
Medical Researchers a Step Closer to Developing Anti-Obesity Pill
A weight loss pill could soon be possible thanks to the work of Deakin University medical researchers.
Engineered Bacterium Produces Important Industrial Chemical
A Korean research team has reported the production of 1,3-diaminopropane via fermentation of an engineered bacterium.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!