As reported by Pharmiweb, researchers from Eli Lilly in June began research to better understand why dogs are able to sense severe blood sugar events in their owners and to identify the compound or compounds they smell as part of those events.
For years, people with vision and hearing impairments have benefited from the help and companionship of trained assistance dogs. Only recently, however, have hypoglycemia alert dogs been available to help people with diabetes, typically those with type 1, which is usually diagnosed in children or young adults. These dogs are trained to identify low levels of blood sugar and alert their owners by nudging or making contact with them in some specific way
As a result of a Lilly supported Innovation Day for Global Statistical Sciences, ICAN and Lilly employees launched another study to examine the reproducibility of hypoglycemia recognition with a newly trained group of dogs. The goal of the study is to show reproducibility of the dogs’ ability to recognise hypoglycemia from multiple samples in a laboratory setting. This is the first step to validate this mode of hypoglycemia therapy. Studies are also planned to determine what the dogs sense and to measure the dogs’ impact on patients as they are placed using Lilly’s proprietary measurement questionnaire.