New research study may help individuals with nerve dysfunction due to diabetes
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3:40 p.m., July 2, 2009----Researchers from the University of Delaware and Christiana Care Health System are conducting a study for individuals with diabetes age 18 years and older. The research will test the effectiveness of a medication to improve nerve function.

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The tests are free and participants will receive up to $200 for taking part in the study.

The goal of the study is to evaluate a new treatment for nerve dysfunction, otherwise known as diabetic neuropathy.

It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of individuals with diabetes have some form of damage to the nervous system, according to Raelene Maser, UD professor of medical technology, who is co-directing the study with Dr. James Lenhard, director of Christiana Care Health System's Diabetes & Metabolic Diseases Center, Diabetes & Metabolic Research Center and Weight Management Center.

William Farquhar and David Edwards, both professors in UD's Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science, are also on the research team.

“Nerve damage in individuals with diabetes results in impaired sensation of the lower extremities, which may lead to amputation,” Maser says. “Diabetes can also cause damage to nerves that innervate the heart and blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of death. It is vital to find new therapies to stop the development and progression of nerve dysfunction in order to reduce both morbidity and mortality,” she notes.

For more information, contact Rae or Debbie, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., at (302) 623-3834 or 1-800-628-2224.

The study will be conducted at the Diabetes and Metabolic Research Center in Christiana Care Research Institute, Medical Arts Pavilion 2, Suite 3203, 4735 Ogletown-Stanton Rd., Newark.

This research project is supported by the UD College of Health Sciences and the Delaware INBRE grant # 2 P20 RR016472-09, sponsored by the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health.