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International Primary Care Association

Diabetic Neuropathy – A Contemporary Overview for the Primary Care Physician

Diabetic Neuropathy (DN) is the most common complication of diabetes and represents a heterogeneous group of neurological conditions. Although any nerve in the body may be affected, the length dependent distal symmetrical sensory predominant neuropathy is the most common presentation. Diabetic neuropathy often develops insidiously and often remains asymptomatic until well established. Important complications of DN include the development of neuropathic pain, autonomic features, foot deformities and ulceration all which lead to considerable morbidity. Furthermore, it is also considered to represent an increased mortality risk.

Pathogenic triggers apart from hyperglycaemia, such as cardiometabolic and vascular factors, are being increasingly recognised to play a significant role in DN development. Newer putative agents have shown promise in experimental diabetic neuropathy but are yet to be clinically proven. Thus, glucose control remains the only proven strategy to delay the development of DN. Management of neuropathic pain and foot risk assessment and ulcer prevention strategies are important clinical considerations. In this review, I discuss the classification, diagnosis and management of the DN.

Additional Info

  • Authors: PRJ Vas
  • Keywords: Diabetic Neuropathy, Distal symmetric polyneuropathy, Distal sensorimotor neuropathy Neuropathic pain
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Read 11157 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 March 2017 12:33

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