A press release from Diabetes UK, http://www.diabetes.org.uk/news/aug05/nerve.htm, indicates that research into a new treatment for nerve damage could reduce the number of amputations for people with diabetes.
Diabetics generally have a higher risk of developing nerve damage (neuropathy) which can cause ulcers and sores and lead to amputations.
Scientists at the University of Manchester have discovered a way of stimulating genes that could help prevent this nerve damage. Natasha Ede, Care Advisor for Diabetes UK, is optimistic about results of these preliminary studies but emphasized that it was only the first step toward a remedy. “This research is certainly promising but it is still in the very early stages. Although there are treatments available to help alleviate the symptoms of neuropathy, there is currently no cure.”
Ede emphasized the importance of preventing nerve damage by staying healthy through diet and exercise. “Leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining good blood glucose and blood pressure control can also help to reduce the risk of it developing considerably. We will await the results of the human trials with interest.”