Recent advances in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Diabetic neuropathies are a complex, heterogeneous group of disorders that include a wide range of abnormalities. They can be focal or diffuse, proximal or distal, affecting both somatic and autonomic nervous systems. Diabetic neuropathy causes considerable morbidity and mortality and reduces the quality of life and activities of daily living of the individual with diabetes. Management of the disease is complex and requires targeted intervention. This review summarizes the recent advances in the treatment of both symptoms and the underlying pathophysiology of diabetic neuropathy.

Recent findings

There has been an increasing understanding of the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy in recent years, and new drugs that target the pathophysiological mechanisms are currently being studied. Pain mechanisms for the different types of pain syndromes are also more completely understood, and two drugs have recently been approved in the United States for the treatment of the neuropathic pain of diabetes.

Summary

As knowledge of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms continues to grow, symptomatic therapy is now available, and newer and better treatment modalities based on causal factors are being explored with the potential for a significant impact on morbidity and mortality.

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