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Glycemic control and nerve conduction abnormalities in non-insulin-dependent diabetic subjects.

Graf RJ, Halter JB, Pfeifer MA, Halar E, Brozovich F, Porte D Jr.

The influence of therapy of hyperglycemia on the progression of diabetic neuropathy is unclear. We studied variables of glycemia and motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity in a group of 18 non-insulin-dependent diabetic subjects before and after institution of diabetes therapy. Diabetes therapy significantly reduced variables of glycemia after 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Conduction velocity of the median motor nerve was improved from baseline at each time tested during treatment. In addition, peroneal and tibial motor nerve conduction velocities improved in patients whose levels of hyperglycemia were lowered. Moreover, extent of improvement of conduction velocity of some motor nerves was related to the degree of reduction of hyperglycemia. Sensory nerve conduction velocity was not altered by diabetes therapy. These findings support the hypothesis of a metabolic component to diabetic neuropathy and suggest that optimal glycemic control may be beneficial to patients with this disorder.

Ann Intern Med. 1981 Mar;94(3):307-11.