Diabetic Neuropathy

Praful Kelkar, MD

Disclosures

Semin Neurol. 2005;25(2):168-173. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Diabetic neuropathy is not a single entity but manifests as several different clinical syndromes. It is likely that different pathophysiological mechanisms contribute to the development of the neuropathy, including metabolic alterations, microvascular changes, and inflammatory changes. A summary of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical aspects of different diabetic neuropathies are outlined in this article.

Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy in the Western world. The true incidence or prevalence of diabetic neuropathy is not known, due in part to a lack of agreement on the definition of diabetic neuropathy. There are several reasons for this, including a variability in clinical manifestations, a lack of consensus regarding clinical criteria to diagnose early neuropathy, and a lack of minimum electrodiagnostic criteria to diagnose subclinical neuropathy. Thus, the reported prevalence of diabetic neuropathy varies from 5 to 100%. Overall, the incidence of neuropathy in diabetes increases with the duration of diabetes and the degree of hyperglycemia.[1]

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