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Study Shows Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a Breakthrough Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy

Introduction:

Neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes, estimated to occur in about 60% of patients with diabetes. It causes chronic pain, burning, numbness and balance difficulty that can significantly impact patients’ quality of life. Diabetic neuropathy is difficult to treat. Luckily, a recent study has shown that PRP injections can improve nerve health and eliminate neuropathy symptoms.

Understanding Neuropathy and PRP:

Diabetes can create a toxic biochemical environment within and around nerves. This can cause damage to the nerves and supporting blood vessels. Animal studies have shown that PRP injections around sick nerves can actually improve the health of Schwann cells (specialized cells that support nerve health), regenerate axons (inner fibers of the nerves) and improve the health of the supporting blood vessels. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a solution of concentrated platelets made from the patient’s own blood. Platelets are packed with growth factors that can initiate nerve regeneration and restore normal nerve function.

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The Study:

A recent clinical trial conducted in Egypt tested the hypothesis that PRP injections could alleviate neuropathy symptoms and improve nerve function in patients with diabetes. Sixty adult patients with type 2 diabetes and symptomatic neuropathy were divided into two groups: one receiving PRP injections in addition to medical treatment and the other receiving medical treatment alone. PRP was carefully injected around nerves under ultrasound guidance to stimulate nerve regeneration. Medical treatment included blood sugar control, vitamins, alpha-lipoic acid and pregabalin. The patients were assessed for pain, numbness and overall function using a modified Toronto Clinical Neuropathy Score (mTCNS). The function of the nerves was also assessed with standard electrical nerve conduction studies.

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The Results:

The PRP group showed significantly lower pain and numbness scores and improved functional scores compared to controls. Early improvement in symptoms was observed in the PRP group by the first month and was maintained at re-assessment at months 3 and 6. Nerve electrical studies indicated faster nerve conduction in the PRP group when assessed at 6 months.

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Conclusion:

The study’s results align with previous research, suggesting that PRP is a safe and effective treatment for diabetic neuropathy. Proposed mechanisms include reduced nerve inflammation, nerve regeneration, and enhanced blood flow to the nerves. This study presents a promising breakthrough in diabetic neuropathy management and opens up new possibilities for improving the lives of individuals with diabetic neuropathy.

Are you a candidate for a Neuropathy Treatment with PRP?

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References:

  • Hassanien, Manal, et al. “Perineural platelet-rich plasma for diabetic neuropathic pain, could it make a difference?.” Pain Medicine 21.4 (2020): 757-765
  • Ismail, Dalia Ibrahim, and Eman Abas Farag. “A Histological Study on Platelet Poor Plasma versus Platelet Rich Plasma in Amelioration of Induced
    Diabetic Neuropathy in Rats and the Potential Role of Telocyte-like Cells.” Egyptian Journal of Histology 44.1 (2021): 8-30.
SWFL Low Back Pain Specialist

Southwest Florida's Chronic Pain Specialist

Dr. Sebastian Klisiewicz

D.O. Osteopathic Physiatrist, Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation