What You Should Know:

– The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced a major initiative to improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) by awarding $12 million in grants to support research on safely incorporating exercise into their lives.

– The Helmsley Charitable Trust is the world’s largest private foundation dedicated to funding T1D research. With this latest initiative, the Trust has committed over $1 billion to support research efforts aimed at transforming the lives of people with T1D.

The Challenge: Unpredictable Blood Sugar and Exercise Avoidance

Currently, T1D patients struggle with unpredictable blood sugar fluctuations during and after exercise, often leading to anxiety and avoidance of physical activity altogether. This lack of exercise can negatively impact overall health and well-being.

The Solution: Targeted Research and Practical Tools

The Helmsley Trust’s T1D Exercise Initiative (T1-DEXI) aims to address this challenge by funding seven diverse research projects that will:

  • Develop and evaluate educational resources and tools for both patients and healthcare providers.
  • Improve insulin delivery systems and algorithms to better manage exercise-induced blood sugar changes.
  • Explore alternative approaches to managing exercise-related hypoglycemia, such as whey protein supplementation.
  • Investigate the impact of menstrual cycles on T1D management and exercise.

Helmsley Trust’s Commitment to T1D Research

“This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people with T1D,” said Deniz Dalton, a program officer in Helmsley’s T1D Program. “By supporting innovative research, we hope to provide practical solutions that empower individuals with T1D to safely and confidently incorporate exercise into their routines, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and quality of life.”

Specific Research Projects Funded:

  • DiabetesWise for exercise: Integrates exercise education into the DiabetesWise platform to provide evidence-based information.
  • Educational intervention to support Diabetes Guidance for Exercise (EDGE): Tests the effectiveness of a remote educational program for improving glycemic control during exercise.
  • Exercise-specific AID algorithm for T1D: Develops and tests an algorithm for automated insulin delivery systems that specifically addresses exercise-induced blood sugar fluctuations.
  • Development of a personalized decision support tool using net insulin on board: Explores the use of net insulin on board calculations and creates a prototype tool for pre-exercise decision-making.
  • Leveraging new ultra-rapid insulins with AID: Evaluates the safety and efficacy of new, faster-acting insulins for managing exercise-related blood sugar changes in patients using automated insulin delivery systems.
  • Whey protein to reduce risk of hypoglycemia during exercise with T1D: Investigates whether whey protein can be an effective alternative to carbohydrate intake for reducing hypoglycemia risk during and after exercise.
  • Impact of Menstruation on glycemic response and exercise: Studies the impact of menstrual cycles and hormonal birth control on blood sugar control and exercise in individuals with T1D.