Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diabetic nerve therapy shows ‘striking’ results

26.07.2005


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.”

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/press/title,37261,en.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Observing the cell's protein factories during self-assembly
15.06.2018 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht Scientists unravel molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease
13.06.2018 | The Francis Crick Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?

15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency

15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>