Neuropathy associated with diabetes arises from complex metabolic and neurotrophic imbalances, and can affect single or multiple nerves and both motor as well as sensory function. Symptoms can include pain or a loss of sensation in the extremities, muscle weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, digestive problems, and reduced sexual potency. A recent survey found that 65% of diabetic patients have mild or severe forms of neuropathy, and that in a two year period neuropathy led to more than 500,000 hospitalizations for diabetic patients. The mainstay of treatment for diabetic neuropathy is improved glucose control, which can be helpful in “acute” stages but is usually ineffective in chronic disease. Palliative treatment includes the use of pain relievers and anti-seizure drugs in attempt to relieve pain and “burning” feet.
In preclinical studies, long-term administration of GLY-230 to diabetic rats improved measures of metabolic imbalance and oxidative stress in peripheral nerves.