More than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy exist, and each type comes with different symptoms, and often a different prognosis. Small sensory fibers transmit pain and temperature sensation, and in small-fiber peripheral neuropathy these fibers are damaged. Large fibers are involved in vibratory sense and proprioception, or being able to sense the movement and orientation of body parts. Believe it or not, peripheral neuropathy can be caused by physical injury, systemic disease, autoimmune diseases, infections, or even be inherited. There is no cure for peripheral neuropathy, and depending on the type and severity, treatment may be less than optimal. Neuropathic pain is often difficult to control, and in diabetics can be the cause of serious complications.
Boston Children’s Hospital has developed a topical skin cream that may relieve the type of neuropathy often found in diabetics, called small-fiber neuropathy. This topical cream cannot regenerate the damaged fibers, but allows a group of factors known as GDNF to stimulate nerve growth. This stimulation improves the health and function of the neurons, and when studied in mice this led to improved sensation, even in diabetic mice with advanced disease. This peripheral neuropathy treatment may help a lot of diabetic patients that have uncontrolled pain and decreased sensation in their extremities. This topical cream can be applied directly to the areas that are most affected, and provide more targeted treatment. The fact that the cream would be applied directly to the source would also mean that there would be less systemic side effects. Currently, the skin cream is being tested to determine if the cream would have any benefit in patients with large-fiber neuropathy.
If this topical cream becomes available it has the potential to help the millions of Americans that suffer from neuropathy. Until then there are still many treatments available to help ease the pain. If you are suffering from neuropathy, contact your podiatrist in Columbus Ohio.
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.
Columbus Podiatry & Surgery in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.
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