Diabetes

The Problem

Dr. Eva Feldman working with Dr. Amy Rumora in the lab

Diabetes has become a global epidemic and public health burden. Almost 463 million people had diabetes worldwide in 2019, which is projected to increase to 700 million by 2045.

  • Type 1 diabetes (T1D) can develop at any age, but most frequently in adolescents and children.  Here, the pancreas loses the cells that make insulin, the glucose regulating biomolecule.
  • Around 95% of cases are type 2 diabetes (T2D), occurring more frequently in adults, where the body develops resistance to insulin and can no longer regulate glucose. Unfortunately, controlling blood glucose does not stop T2D progression.
  • Complications of diabetes include nerve, eye, kidney, and cardiovascular damage. These can eventually lead to significant disability and possibly death.
  • Our focus is nerve damage—to peripheral nerves in the arms and legs, which leads to neuropathy, or damage to the brain, leading to cognitive decline.

"At least half of the 30 million Americans with diabetes have neuropathy. It’s a very common, prevalent problem in a very common, prevalent disease. Additionally, about 30% of the 84 million Americans with prediabetes have neuropathy."

Dr. Eva Feldman | U.S. News & World Report