University Of Warwick Logo Diabetes is not just about sweets as some people assume. There may be a painful side to diabetes that is now being explored in detail by scientists at the University of Warwick.

A condition known as painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is characterized by chronic and prolonged pain that disturbs the concerned person’s entire life cycle. Presently, there are not many studies investigating the causes of this disease precisely. The team stumbled upon a compound called methylglyoxal (MG) that is synthesized excessively during diabetes. It is being pointed out as the primary target for relieving diabetic pain.

Professor Thornalley from the University of Warwick, commented, “MG appears to attack and modify a key protein in the nerve endings called ‘Nav 1.8’ causing nerves to become super-sensitive to pain and extremes of temperature. So diabetics typically develop a heightened sensitivity to hot and cold, accompanied with intense pain.”

The scientists worked on a trial for almost 30 years to reach the conclusion that impeding the activity of methylglyoxal could be an effective way of combating painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN). Many recent studies have shown that diabetes is not a condition merely affecting the diet of people. Complications like diabetic retinopathy and that which has been probed in this study showed that living a life free of diabetes is crucial.

As demonstrated by the investigators, small peptides that eliminated the disease-causing compound could aid patients in relieving their pain cycles and live a normal life. Drugs and medications striking at methylglyoxal need to be developed for combating the pain associated with diabetes, concluded the team.