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The need for people with diabetes to undergo painful remedial measures could be reduced by a new drug that helps to avoid the effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).
The KU-32 drug is the product of three years work by Kansas University researchers, who believe it could benefit DPN patients. Should it be used, the drug could help DPN patients avoid undergoing nerve dysfunction and the resultant amputations.
Diabetes patients know if the disorder is developing by monitoring blood glucose levels.
DPN hits nerves in legs and arms and the pain it creates leaves patients oversensitive to touch, said pharmacy and toxicology professor Rick Dobrowsky.
Mr Dobrowsky said: “Imagine hitting your funny bone and having that painful sensation constantly.”
Mr Dobrowsky, who has worked on the project since its inception, said that college going students who had been found to have early stages of diabetes could develop DPN.
He also pointed out that the condition could cause patients to feel acute pain even when something as light as a bed sheet is put on them.
The disorder does not hit all patients the same way however, having caused a loss of all sense of touch in affected areas for some.
Copyright Press Association 2010