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Diabetic neuropathy (DN) is the most common, most neglected and difficult to treat diabetic complication. It affects the whole body, and presents with diverse clinical pictures. The most important outcome of somatic and autonomic DN are the development of diabetic foot followed by diabetic ulceration and possible amputation. In this chapter the definition, epidemiology, pathophysiology and classification of somatic DN will be discussed. Attention will be given to various practical aspects of somatic DN of different types with their specific clinical presentation, diagnostic approaches and treatment options, including the usually rarely discussed gender differences. DN remains a problem in diabetology, compared to other micro- and macrovascular complications. The disease is rarely investigated, although simple testing devices for somatic nerve impairment exist, and remains difficult to treat because ofthe complex pathogenetic mechanisms. The main prevention/progression delaying measure for the progression of DN is the tight glycaemic control. Painful DN is common and need appropriate symptomatic relieving drugs. Future investigations must be targeted on new treatment options.


Zdravko A Kamenov, Latchezar D Traykov. Diabetic somatic neuropathy. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 2012;771:155-75

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PMID: 23393678

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