“We know from other studies that if you have naloxone present during hypoglycemia, people recognize their hypoglycemia the next day,” Seaquist said. “So we thought, will naloxone be effective before that, if it's given during exercise, to make people aware of their hypoglycemia the next day?”
Patients in her study have Type 1 diabetes and complete two rounds of a two-day trial. On the first day, patients are given either a naloxone or saline nasal spray before completing a 90-minute exercise session on a stationary bicycle. The other spray is given during the second round of the trial. Patients are monitored to ensure they’re exercising to maximum capacity during both rides.
On the second day of each round, patients are placed into hypoglycemia so Seaquist’s team can measure their body’s response to the lower blood sugar levels.
If successful, the study may suggest that intranasal naloxone could be used during exercise to ensure the body’s response to hypoglycemia is not reduced as it usually is.
For people with diabetes, it would mean being able to exercise without worrying about potentially dire side effects. For Seaquist, it would mean helping patients she’s worked with for so long.
“Hypoglycemia is very common for people with diabetes,” Seaquist said. “Think about how it could interfere with your work, or driving, or your family life and worrying about this all the time. It’s very exciting knowing I could help patients take away some of the burdens of the disease.”
"I can't adequately express my respect and gratitude for Dr. Seaquist. She is a giant in the field of diabetes," said M Health Fairview Chief Academic Officer Brad Benson, MD, noting that Seaquist has served as President of the American Diabetes Association and just received their inaugural Lois Javanovic Transformative Woman in Diabetes Award.
"In addition to directly caring for our patients, she mentors our learners, leads our subspecialty service Line, and has spent her career discovering a better future for everyone with diabetes,” Benson said. “She embodies what academic medicine is all about."