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20 active trials for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Corneal Nerves Function and Structure

Peripheral neuropathy affects about 50% of the diabetic population and there is no treatment other than good blood glucose control, which is ineffective in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Part of the problem for the lack of an effective treatment is the inability to detect peripheral neuropathy in its early stage. The hypotheses to be addressed in the first phase of this study is that changes in cornea sensitivity (blinking and squinting) following addition of a hyperosmotic solution will provide a novel screening tool for early diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. For the second phase of the study the investigators will examine the effect of fish oil treatment of diabetic subjects with neuropathy on corneal nerve density and sensitivity. Corneal nerves are the most highly innervated part of the human body with great sensitivity. The first phase will use this property and determine whether sensitivity is lost in diabetic patients with neuropathy. Preclinical studies have supported this hypothesis and now this will be tested in human subjects. Preclinical studies have also shown that treating diabetic rodents with fish oil improves nerve regeneration and outcome measures of peripheral in diabetic rodents. In the second phase the investigators will perform preliminary studies in human subjects with diabetic neuropathy and determine whether treating them with fish oil increases corneal nerve density and sensitivity.

Iowa City, IowaStart: June 2021
Enhancing Abilities in Amputees and Patients With Peripheral Neuropathy Through Restoration of Sensory Feedback

Many amputees suffer from Phantom Limb Pain (PLP), a condition where painful perceptions arise from the missing limb. Leg amputees wear prostheses that do not provide any sensory feedback, apart from the stump-socket interaction. Increased physical effort associated with prosthesis use as well as discomfort often lead to rejection of artificial limbs. Additionally, the perception of the missing limb and its brain representation, do not match-up with what amputees see (the prosthesis) and this is made worse by the absence of sensory feedback. Therefore, re-establishing the sensory flow of information between the subject's brain and the prosthetic device is extremely important to avoid this mismatch, which creates inadequate embodiment. This study focuses on improving functional abilities and decreasing PLP in amputees thanks to the use of a system able to generate a sensory feedback (SF), which will be provided with a non-invasive electrical stimulation (ES). First, the possibility of enhancing the performance in different functional tasks thanks to the use of SF will be explored. Furthermore, it will be evaluated if SF enhances the prosthesis embodiment and helps restoring a multisensory integration (visuo-tactile), potentially providing also a pain relief. Once tested this system on amputees, also people with peripheral neuropathy and sensory loss will be recruited. Diabetic patients can suffer from symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSPN), which is a common complication caused by prolonged glucose unbalanced levels that lead to nerve damage. Non-invasive ES has been proposed and used as a therapy to treat the chronic pain conditions. In particular, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a type of non-invasive ES, which is able to activate large diameter afferent fibers. The gate control theory of pain states that these large diameter fibers inhibit central nociceptive transmission with a resultant decrease in pain perception. Therefore, also these patients will be recruited to see whether adding a non-invasive SF can enhance their functional motor abilities while diminishing their pain. The subjects will perform a pool of the following tasks, depending on their residual abilities: motor tasks (walking on ground level and on stairs), cognitive tasks (dual tasks), subjective evaluation of prosthesis weight and description of sensations from ES. Some tasks will be performed in Virtual Reality environments with and without an active stimulation.

ZürichStart: October 2019