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Diabetic neuropathy

HEALTH INFORMATION

Improving treatment strategies for diabetic neuropathy

WHAT WE KNOW

Neuropathy is the medical term for damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. Approximately 30% of neuropathies are ‘idiopathic’, meaning the cause is unknown. Diabetic neuropathy is usually as a result of serious complication from diabetes and usually damages nerves that are located in the legs and feet.

Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain or numbness in the extremities to problems with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling and even fatal.

Most people with diabetic neuropathy are unaware that they have nerve damage, until it is picked up on routine screening by a doctor or when complications develop. Although there is no cure, early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality of life and reduce the risk of further complications. Diabetic neuropathy can be prevented, or its progress slowed, with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle.

OUR LATEST RESEARCH

Restoring sensitivity in peripheral neuropathy

The elderly and patients with diabetes are at high risk of losing sensation in their feet and currently no treatment for this condition exists. This loss of feeling leads to falls, fractures and foot ulcers, which in many cases end with amputation. We have developed a new subsensory stimulation technique which for the first time restores lost sensation.

What else is happening in Diabetic neuropathy research at NeuRA?

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

'I've got the best job for you dad. Your shaky arm will be perfect for it!'

Children… honest and insightful. Their innocence warms the heart. But what words do you use to explain to a child that daddy has an incurable brain disease? What words tell them that in time he may not be able to play football in the park, let alone feed himself? What words help them understand that in the later stages, dementia may also strike? Aged just 36, this was the reality that faced Steve Hartley. Parkinson's disease didn't care he was a fit, healthy, a young dad and devoted husband. It also didn't seem to care his family had no history of it. The key to defeating Parkinson's disease is early intervention, and thanks to a global research team, led by NeuRA, we're pleased to announce that early intervention may be possible. Your support, alongside national and international foundations Shake it Up Australia and the Michael J Fox Foundation, researchers have discovered that a special protein, found in people with a family history of the disease increases prior to Parkinson’s symptoms developing. This is an incredible step forward, because it means that drug therapies, aimed at blocking the increase in the protein, can be administered much earlier – even before symptoms strike. The next step is to understand when to give the drug therapies and which people will most benefit from it. But we need your help. A gift today will support vital research and in time help medical professionals around the world treat Parkinson’s disease sooner, with much better health outcomes. Thank you, in advance, for your support.  
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