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Defeat Diabetes
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Spine Shrinks Early in Diabetic Nerve Condition

Posted: Thursday, December 28, 2006

The size of the spinal cord is significantly diminished long before symptoms of nerve damage appear in adults with diabetes, British doctors report.

Diabetes can lead to nerve damage or "diabetic neuropathy" -- a painful condition that causes a range of symptoms from a tingling sensation or numbness in the toes and fingers to paralysis.

Dr. Dinesh Selvarajah of Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK, and colleagues studied 84 men with type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes, 24 nondiabetic controls and eight subjects with an inherited neuropathy.

Nineteen of the diabetic subjects had no diabetic neuropathy, 23 had silent or "subclinical" neuropathy and 39 had clinically detectable neuropathy.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the spine showed that the spinal cord area, corrected for age, height and weight, was 67.5 mm in diabetics without neuropathy, 62.4 mm in diabetics with subclinical neuropathy and 57.2 mm in diabetics with overt neuropathy.

 
There were no significant differences in the spinal cord area of diabetics without neuropathy and nondiabetic controls.
The British investigators write that MRI assessment of the spinal cord may be helpful for detecting silent signs of spinal nerve damage in patients with diabetes.

 

Source: Diabetes In Control: Diabetes Care December 2006

 
 
 
 
 
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