Diabetic neuropathy: Pathogenesis and evolving principles of management

Link to article at PubMed

Dis Mon. 2023 May 8:101582. doi: 10.1016/j.disamonth.2023.101582. Online ahead of print.


The global rise of prediabetes and diabetes has spawned an epidemic of complications associated with these conditions. Neuropathy is the most common consequence, with distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSP) being the most prevalent. Diabetic neuropathy (DN) is a debilitating consequence of diabetes mellitus resulting in the highest morbidity and death, besides imposing a substantial financial burden on the patient. Loss of sensory function commencing distally in the lower limbs, accompanied by discomfort and considerable morbidity, characterizes diabetic neuropathy. The clinical evaluation and therapeutic options for diabetic peripheral neuropathy are multifaceted. At least fifty percent of people with diabetes acquire diabetic neuropathy over time. Good glycemic control halts the evolution in individuals with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. These results have prompted fresh attempts to comprehend the origin and develop new guidelines for prevention and treatment. New recommendations have also been established for the treatment of painful DN using separate classes of medications, with an emphasis on avoiding the use of opioids. Although our comprehension of the intricacies of diabetic neuropathy has progressed significantly over the past decade, the unique processes driving the neuropathy in type 1 and type 2 diabetes remain unexplained. Currently, glycemic control and pain management are the only effective therapies. While glucose management significantly reduces neuropathy development in type 1 diabetics, the effect is considerably lower in type 2 diabetics. Evidence supports the use of anticonvulsants and antidepressants for diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain treatment. However, the absence of disease-modifying medications for diabetic DSP necessitates the identification of unrecognized modifiable risk factors. It is imperative to identify the 'missed' risk factors and targets, allowing comprehensive, individualized care for patients.

PMID:37164794 | DOI:10.1016/j.disamonth.2023.101582

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