Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diabetic Nerve Therapy Shows 'Striking' Results

Date:
August 18, 2005
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Research into a new treatment for nerve damage caused by diabetes could bring relief to millions of diabetic patients, say experts.

Research into a new treatment for nerve damage caused by diabetes could bring relief to millions of diabetic patients, say experts.

The treatment might also reduce the number of amputations of toes and feet if early effects on nerve protection and regeneration are borne out long-term. Nerve disease in diabetes is the major cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations in Europe and North America.

Scientists at The University of Manchester, working with colleagues at American biotech firm Sangamo BioSciences Inc, have discovered a way of stimulating genes that prevent nerve damage caused by the disease.

Professor David Tomlinson, who is leading the research in Manchester, says the study has massive potential for the management of diabetic neuropathies or nerve disorders.

"Diabetic neuropathy is a major problem in insulin-dependent diabetes, particularly in patients who have had the disease for a period of time," said Professor Tomlinson, who is based in the University's Faculty of Life Sciences.

"This approach to gene therapy is quite different to previous attempts at treatment as we do not inject a gene that produces a 'foreign' copy of a therapeutic protein. This is the normal approach and has problems from immunological side-effects.

"Instead, we turn on the patient's own gene to produce a natural version of this therapeutically beneficial protein. The most significant advantage of this is that the protein is made as if the patient's body had made it naturally.

"Our study has shown that a single treatment with a DNA-binding protein protected against nerve damage that in humans can lead to limb loss."

The results of the pre-clinical studies were recently presented to the American Diabetes Association in California and the first phase of clinical trials has now begun.

An estimated 50 per cent of patients with long-term diabetes develop some form of neuropathy that can cause numbness and sometimes pain and weakness in the hands, arms, feet and legs.

Currently, patients are treated with painkillers and antidepressants that do not treat the underlying nerve damage. Progression to amputation is not inevitable but is always a threat.

Problems may also occur in other organs, including the heart, kidneys, sex organs, eyes and digestive tract.

The incidence of diabetes, a condition in which the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, is increasing dramatically, with the World Health Organisation estimating that some 300 million people worldwide could be affected by 2025.

The causes of diabetic neuropathy are not fully understood but researchers investigating the effect of glucose on nerves believe it is likely to be a combination of factors.

Sangamo's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Dale Ando, said: "We have been greatly encouraged by Professor Tomlinson's data and have moved the programme into the clinic.

"The first phase of human trials will assess safety and examine the effects of a single treatment in one leg compared with a placebo treatment in the other leg."

The Diabetes and Glandular Disease Clinic in San Antonio, Texas, is involved in the clinical trials.

Dr Mark Kipnes, a clinical investigator for Sangamo and endocrinologist at the clinic, said: "Currently, there are no effective therapies available to treat this debilitating and frequent complication of diabetes and patients are generally prescribed painkillers to alleviate symptoms.

"We are excited to be involved in testing this novel approach that may potentially have a dramatic therapeutic effect in populations of patients already suffering from neuropathy and those that are at risk of developing it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Diabetic Nerve Therapy Shows 'Striking' Results." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814174350.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2005, August 18). Diabetic Nerve Therapy Shows 'Striking' Results. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814174350.htm
University of Manchester. "Diabetic Nerve Therapy Shows 'Striking' Results." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814174350.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins