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Diabetic Neuropathy

Posted by Dorothy on 1/05/04 at 03:55 (141386)

This article is posted/printed from Medline from a journal on diabetes January 2004. People here have asked about this light treatment and peripheral neuropathy and I have referred to this before. This is latest published info. about recent studies for the information of people with this interest:
URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_15392.html (*this news item will not be available after 02/01/2004)

Friday, January 2, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Poor nerve sensation is a common problem for patients with diabetes, but a new device that uses near-infrared light may provide dramatic improvements, new research suggests. However, the benefits seem to be limited to patients without severe impairment of sensation.

Treatment with the device, marketed as the Anodyne Therapy System (ATS), appears to restore sensation, reduce pain, and improve balance in patients with nerve damage known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. ATS is a non-invasive treatment that is thought to increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels.

In a preliminary study, ATS reversed the symptoms of neuropathy, but it was unclear if the device would prove beneficial in a trial comparing it with a similar-appearing, but fake 'sham' treatment.

To test this, Dr. David R. Leonard and colleagues, from the Joslin Center for Diabetes in Clearwater, Florida, assessed the outcomes of 27 patients with diabetic neuropathy who were treated with sham or real ATS for 2 weeks and then real therapy for 2 more weeks. Treatments were given three times per week.

As reported in the medical journal Diabetes Care, the study group included 18 patients with moderate sensory problems and 9 with more severe impairments.

In the group with moderate problems, both 6 and 12 weeks of ATS were associated with a dramatic drop in the number of body sites lacking sensation. In contrast, no sensory improvements were seen with sham therapy. ATS therapy was also tied to a reduction in pain and with improvements in balance.

In patients with more severe impairments, however, ATS did not produce significant improvements in sensation, pain, or balance.

Although the results are 'encouraging,' the authors note that 'more discreet quantitative sensory tests would be helpful in determining the exact degree of sensory improvement experienced after the administration of ATS treatments.' A new study incorporating such tests is currently underway, they add.

SOURCE Diabetes Care, January 2004.