Sensory and Biomechanical Markers in Diabetic Neuropathy of the Gut. Basic Investigations and New Approaches for Treatment
Coordinator: Hans GREGERSEN
Project Number: 223630
EC contribution: € 1,776,000.00
Project website: http://www.diamark.eu/
DIAMARK is focused on analysing the pathophysiology of diabetic neuropathy and to determine better biomarkers of the complications and approaches for intervention. Due to lack of standardisation, there are no accepted biomarkers to evaluate the neuropathy and its involvement in the GI tract. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting almost 6% (app. 246 million people) worldwide (http://www.idf.org). DM is a chronic disease requiring lifelong attention in order to limit the development of potentially devastating complications and to manage them if they occur. Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are common and closely associated with autonomic neuropathy. Several studies addressed the visceral sensory function in DM and demonstrated abnormalities in perception thresholds, vagal tone and evoked brain potentials in patients with autonomic neuropathy. Thus, DM-related changes may be located in the enteric, the peripheral and in the CNS. Several clinical, neurophysiological and biochemical test for neuropathy have been proposed but they are not reliable and valid. This makes is crucial to develop better biomarkers for GI neuropathy and associated complications, to test the reliability and validity under controlled circumstances using advanced multimodal methods and to follow the biomarkers during new treatments. This proposal aims at determining new biomarkers related to the enteric nervous system (response to stimulation), peripheral nerves (recordings from visceral nerves) and central nervous system (evoked brain potentials and computation of the brain sources activated). After reliability testing under controlled circumstances in the laboratory and the clinic, the validity of the biomarkers will be followed during the most promising new treatments with gastric pacing and bypass surgery. The highly skilled academic and industrial partners of the consortium are selected based on their work on various aspects of the proposed framework.