Spinal cord shrinks in diabetic neuropathy
The size of the spinal cord significantly reduces much before the symptoms of nerve damage appear diabetics.
The size of the spinal cord reduces even before the symptoms of nerve damage appear in diabetics. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy - a painful condition that causes a range of symptoms from a tingling sensation or numbness in the toes and fingers to paralysis. Researchers from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK studied 84 men with type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes, 24 nondiabetic controls and eight subjects with an inherited neuropathy. Nineteen of the diabetic subjects had no diabetic neuropathy, 23 had silent or subclinical neuropathy and 39 had clinically detectable neuropathy. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the spine showed that the spinal cord area, corrected for age, height and weight, was nearly 68 mm in diabetics without neuropathy, 62 mm in diabetics with subclinical neuropathy and 57 mm in diabetics with overt neuropathy. There were no significant differences in the spinal cord area of diabetics without neuropathy and nondiabetic controls. The findings suggest that MRI assessment of the spinal cord in diabetics may be helpful in detecting silent signs of nerve damage.
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