July 19, 2008 To ease pain and numbness associated with diabetes, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell physician-scientists are studying a drug previously used for depression to treat peripheral neuropathy. Diabetics often suffer from this condition because of high blood sugar levels that damage nerve cells.
Those with peripheral neuropathy often endure chronic pain, cramping and sleepless nights that prevent them from living a normal lifestyle.
But now, scientists believe that a drug called reboxetine may alleviate their symptoms. The compound works by boosting the level of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine between nerve cells. But it also works by inhibiting the neurotransmitter's degradation within the nerve, where it is stored within the cell for later use.
Dr. Bassem Masri — a cardiologist and diabetes specialist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and Helen and Robert Appel Clinical Scholar and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College — is studying the drug's effectiveness in a Phase II trial in subjects who have been diagnosed with diabetes for at least one-year and who have peripheral neuropathy.
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The above story is based on materials provided by New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College.
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