Research paves the way to early diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy

Grip force is a key behavioral biomarker to detect early diabetic neuropathy.

Sao Paulo/ Web Desk:

According to the article published in Eureka Alert, Research conducted by Professor Paulo Barbosa de Freitas Júnior at Cruzeiro do Sul University in Sao Paulo, Brazil, can contribute to earlier diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy, a disorder characterized by damage to peripheral nerves, with symptoms such as pain and paresthesia, mainly in the legs and feet.

Freitas and his group tested volunteers to measure the grip force exerted by diabetics with and without a diagnosis of neuropathy, as well as healthy subjects and developed a methodology that can be used to produce equipment for use in clinical practice.


In the study, the group measured the grip force in diabetic patients while they were holding and handling objects. The results were compared with data for healthy subjects and patients with other neurological diseases.

The test results showed that healthy volunteers used between 100% and 120% of the minimum force required to hold an object, whereas the force used by participants with neurological alterations was two and a half times to three times greater. Diabetics exert less force to hold an object than people with other diseases that affect the nervous system.


In the future, the innovation should help physicians diagnose the disorder rapidly and easily not long after the onset of initial symptoms of neuropathy in diabetics.

An article published in the journal Human Movement Science reports the main findings of the study, which was funded by FAPESP via a Regular Research Grant and a scientific initiation scholarship.

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