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United Kingdom researchers say that being a woman appears to be an independent risk factor for the development of painful neuropathy.
“By defining painful neuropathy as deep or burning pain, then compared to those with no pain, there is less macro/microalbuminuria (16 versus 35 percent), and this association remains after adjusting for A1C, diabetes duration and sex,” say the researchers. “Furthermore, the majority of patients suffering with deep or burning pain are female (74 percent versus 48 percent), which remains significant after adjustment for duration of diabetes and A1C.”
Elders Living Alone Have Worse Diabetes Control
Researchers studied the association between living situation and blood glucose control in elderly patients, age 70 years or more. Patients were evaluated for cognitive dysfunction, depression, physical independence and emotional adjustment to the challenge of diabetes self-care.
“For elderly patients, living alone and functional disabilities were significantly associated with poor glycemic control,” the researchers write. “Moreover, factors associated with poor glycemic control differed by gender.”
The researcher found that elderly diabetics living alone with functional disabilities had a higher average A1C than those without disabilities. They also found that subjects living alone who reported recent falls had a higher A1C than those without problems with falling.
Males living alone had a higher A1C when compared to females.
“However, for females living alone, blood glucose control worsened as the number of medications used increased.”
Epilepsy Drug Hits the Mark in Treating Diabetic Nerve Function
Topirimate (Topamax), a drug used to treat epilepsy, has also been found to be helpful in treating nerve function in people with diabetes.
Virginia researchers evaluated 20 patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Dosages of Topamax were titrated over six weeks from 25 mg per day to 50 mg twice a day. The patients remained on 100 mg daily for 12 weeks and were tapered off the medication over an additional four-week period.
“There was a significant correlation between the changes in quality of life symptom scores and enhanced proximal-leg cold perception,” write the researchers. “Nerve function improvement and enhanced quality of life can be used as a measure of response to therapy in clinical trials.”
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