Small Nerve Fibers Defy Neuropathy Conventions
Study suggests even prediabetes may cause nerve damage
Conventional wisdom and knowledge indicates that nerve damage occurs at the longest ends first in patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes. However, a recent study has shown that this occurs but may not be the first sign of problems. Patients who have been diagnosed as prediabetic may be damaging their nerves already. The patients in this study with small fiber neuropathy showed unexpected deterioration over the entire length of their sensory nerve fibers. Based on these findings, the precursor condition of diabetes may be less benign that most believed. “I liken small fiber neuropathy to the canary in the coal mine,” says senior author Michael Polydefkis, MD, professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Cutaneous Nerve Lab. “It signals the beginning of nerve deterioration that with time involves other types of nerve fibers and becomes more apparent and dramatically affects people’s quality of life. The results of this new study add urgency to the need for more screening of those with the condition and faster intervention.” To read more on this study, click here.
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