The new guideline on the most effective treatments for diabetic nerve pain from the American Academy of Neurology, St Paul, Minn, is published in the April 11, 2011, online issue of Neurology.
The guideline was developed in collaboration with the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Diabetic nerve pain, or neuropathy, is caused by nerve damage. "It is estimated that diabetic nerve pain affects 16% of the more than 25 million people living with diabetes in the United States and is often unreported and more often untreated, with an estimated two out of five cases not receiving care," said lead guideline author Vera Bril, MD, FRCP, with the University of Toronto, in a statement.
In addition to a number of drugs that have proven effective, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) was also found to be "probably effective" for treating diabetic nerve pain.
"We were pleased to see that so many of these pain treatments had high-quality studies that support their use," said Bril. "Still, it is important that more research be done to show how well these treatments can be tolerated over time since diabetic nerve pain is a chronic condition that affects a person’s quality of life and ability to function."
The guidelines will also appear in the April edition of the journal M us c le and N e r v e from the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine as well as the April issue of P M & R, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s scientific journal.
[Source: American Academy of Neurology]