Review: Novel insights on diagnosis, cause and treatment of diabetic neuropathy: Focus on painful diabetic neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is common, under or misdiagnosed, and causes substantial morbidity with increased mortality. Defining and developing sensitive diagnostic tests for diabetic neuropathy is not only key to implementing earlier interventions but also to ensure that the most appropriate endpoints are employed in clinical intervention trials. This is critical as many potentially effective therapies may never progress to the clinic, not due to a lack of therapeutic effect, but because the endpoints were not sufficiently sensitive or robust to identify benefit. Apart from improving glycaemic control, there is no licensed treatment for diabetic neuropathy, however, a number of pathogenetic pathways remain under active study. Painful diabetic neuropathy is a cause of considerable morbidity and whilst many pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions are currently used, only two are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. We address the important issue of the 'placebo effect' and also consider potential new pharmacological therapies as well as nonpharmacological interventions in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.