Experimental Drug Stops and Reverses Diabetic Neuropathy in Mice

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Researchers have developed a drug that can stop and reverse diabetic neuropathy in mice.

Researchers from the University of Kansas have created a drug that can stop and reverse diabetic neuropathy (DPN) in mice.

“People with DPN can be very sensitive to light touch, which can cause significant pain,” said Rick Dobrowsky, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and one of the paper's authors, in a press release. “The other side is eventually diabetes causes death of the nerves. DPN often leads to loss of feeling in the hands and feet, which can make diabetics susceptible to wounds and infections and often leads to amputations of toes and feet.”

The study was published in the American Society of Neurochemistry’s journal, ASN Neuro.

During the study, researchers administered KU-32 to diabetic mice. The compound effectively stopped DPN and restored sensory neuron function to damaged nerve tissue. It works by inhibiting a specific member of a family of proteins called molecular chaperones.

The research demonstrates that KU-32 can be orally administered once a week and still be effective. It can also be administered in small doses. Tests show the drug is nontoxic and absorbed into the blood stream fairly well.

The team will continue researching with the goal of determining the points in nerve damage at which the drug would be most effective. They also plan on determining more specifics on how the drug was able to reverse DPN in mice.

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