Experts study diabetic nerve pain

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A PIONEERING study hoping to find the exact cause of diabetic nerve damage is being launched by researchers in Yorkshire.

Nerve pain caused by the condition has a major impact on people’s lives and can cause severe and difficult-to-treat problems.

Only two thirds of patients get 50 per cent pain relief, with many enduring foot deformities, ulceration and an inability to feel their feet.

A trial led by experts from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield and Sheffield University is one of the first to look at the brain using a scanning technique which it is hoped will enable patients to get an early diagnosis.

Marni Greig, clinical research fellow at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Despite intensive research, the exact cause of this damage is unclear. If differences in blood flow in the brain are found, we will be able to gain a better understanding of how the processing of pain signals is altered by diabetes.

“This may ultimately lead to better treatments, which could alleviate the problem.”

The research is backed by a £385,000 grant from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes.