Drug reverses diabetes nerve damage
Diabetes can cause the death of nerves in the body's extremities, a condition known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). The loss of feeling from DPN makes diabetics susceptible to wounds and infections which often lead to amputation, making DPN the second cause of amputation after injuries.
A new compound (KU-32) given to diabetic mice stopped DPN and restored sensory nerve function in damaged tissues. KU-32 increases the concentration of a common chaperone protein, Hsp 70, which repairs proteins damaged by high levels of glucose.
So far KU-32 appears to be nontoxic and easy to administer making it a candidate for clinical trials in people with diabetes.