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Research Update

American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, 2012

This past summer, several of our doctors, nurse educators, and other members of our team, attended diabetes-specific conferences, including the American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference--the largest diabetes-related conference in the world--which was held in Philadelphia last June. In August, some pediatric staff attended the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) conference in Indianapolis: Lisa Rasbach, Ashley Atkins, Joyce Keady, Kerry Milaszewski, and Dr. Laffel received second place for their poster, entitled "Use of a Masked Glucose Monitoring Device in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes.” More recently, our staff also published scientific articles in the August issue of Diabetes Care. Dr. Laffel, Dr. Mehta, and Laurie Higgins wrote about a new survey to assess nutrition knowledge designed for youth with type 1 diabetes and their families. Drs. Garvey, Markowitz, and Laffel also wrote an article discussing the transition process from Pediatrics to Adult Medicine for young adults living with diabetes.
-Debbie Butler, MSW, LICSW, CDE

The TODAY Study

Researchers and patients at Joslin were part of a nationwide study looking at the treatment of type 2 diabetes in youth. 699 patients from across the country participated in a study that looked at 3 different treatments for type 2 diabetes: a medication called Metformin, a combination of Metformin along with another medication called Rosiglitazone, and the medication Metformin combined with an intensive lifestyle program. The researchers found that the combination of Metformin and Rosiglitazone was more successful than Metformin alone in delaying both the appearance of an A1c>8% and the need for insulin use in the participants. The combination of Metformin plus the lifestyle program was intermediate. The study provided a great opportunity for our patients to participate in a large and important nationwide research study. We are continuing to evaluate the factors related to maintaining optimal glycemic control and avoiding complications in teens and young adults with type 2 diabetes in this study. Stay tuned for more information.
-Katie Wentzell, MSN, PNP

International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) Annual Conference, 2011

A number of providers from the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section attended the annual conference of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes in Miami, FL in October, 2011. Dr. Lori Laffel was one of the organizers of the meeting and chaired multiple sessions. Dr. Sanjeev Mehta presented a talk entitled, "Update on Nutritional Management: To Carb Count or Not to Count, That is the Question". Laurie Higgins, RD, presented a workshop called "Continuous Glucose Monitoring: Utility of CGM for Improving Diet, Insulin Adjustment, and Glycemic Control." Dr. Jessica Markowitz presented a poster entitled, "Disordered Eating Behaviors Endorsed by >40% of Youth with Type 1 Diabetes Transitioning to CSII at Baseline and After 6 Weeks; Diminished endorsement of disordered eating behaviors 6 weeks after starting insulin pump therapy.” Dr. Josh Borus presented a poster entitled, "Momentary Sampling Using Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to Assess Adherence in Teens with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D): Feasibility, Burden and Acceptability. The conference included participants from all over the world. The conference will be held in Istanbul, Turkey next year.

-Jessica Markowitz, PhD and Laurie Higgins, MS, RD, LDN, CDE
For more information on ISPAD, visit

American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, 2011

Several members of the Pediatrics staff attended the 2011 ADA Scientific Sessions in San Diego, CA, where they presented results of research accomplished here at Joslin. The well-attended oral and poster presentations described the range of family and social supports that promote better blood glucose control. These include having regular contact with a case manager who educates and supports the young person with diabetes (M. Katz); having a “Medical Home”, i.e. care that is accessible, family-centered, continuous, compassionate, and culturally effective (M. Katz); and parent goal-setting for A1c and blood glucose levels (M. Boot et al). The presentations also addressed the impact of diabetes on families with a survey to measure the burden of diabetes care (J.Markowitz); and looked at the impact of starting an insulin pump on disordered eating patterns (J. Markowitz). Another presentation reviewed changing patterns of prescribing medications to treat type 2 diabetes (S. Mehta). One of the many interesting sessions at the four-day meeting included a progress report on the Artificial Pancreas, where closed-loop systems using insulin pumps and glucose sensors respond to high or low blood glucose levels by increasing or decreasing insulin delivery respectively. There are many ongoing studies around the globe designing and evaluating versions of an “artificial pancreas.” There was also a major session on transitions in care from pediatric to adult diabetes specialists, organized and chaired by Joslin’s Dr. Lori Laffel.
-Alyne Ricker, MD

For more information on the ADA Scientific Sessions, visit

Page last updated: November 20, 2018