Diabetic polyneuropathy is a risk factor for decline of lower extremity strength in patients with type 2 diabetes

Takuo Nomura, Tomoyasu Ishiguro, Masayoshi Ohira, Yukio Ikeda
  • Journal of Diabetes Investigation, May 2017, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/jdi.12658

Elderly with diabetic nerve damage? You may be more likely to experience muscle weakness.

What is it about?

Patients with type 2 diabetes experience both nerve damage and muscle weakness, related to their disease; however, the relationship between these two factors remains undefined. In a multicenter study published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation in March 2017, we assessed the relationship between diabetes-induced nerve damage and muscle strength in the lower limbs, by comparing data on different age groups of men and women with type 2 diabetes. We observed that muscle strength progressively decreased in older patients with diabetic nerve damage, but not in corresponding younger patients. In contrast, regular exercise appeared to counteract these effects.

Why is it important?

These novel findings indicate that diabetes-induced nerve damage, in along with ageing, may lead to the decline of muscle strength in the lower limbs, in elderly men and women with diabetes. This, in turn, may lead to diminished daily activities of self-care that are needed to maintain independent living; thus, evaluating muscle strength in such patients is important. Our study also reveals a link between regular exercise and muscle function; therefore, this study may offer guidance to elderly patients with diabetes who need to exercise regularly to maintain their essential muscle functions.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Takuo Nomura

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