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Clinical Trial Summary

Sensory dysfunction as a result of peripheral nerve damage is a significant problem that leads to reduced quality of life for patients. The prevalence of sensory dysfunction in peripheral neuropathy associates with epidemic increases in prediabetes and diabetes, but also is relevant to chemotherapy treatments and genetic disorders. Clinical approaches to treat peripheral neuropathy and to stimulate axon growth in settings of peripheral axon loss are limited. Although new drugs will hopefully be forthcoming, the most promising approaches likely involve behavioral and lifestyle interventions. Mitochondrial dysfunction is emerging as a key cellular contribution to peripheral axon health and peripheral neuropathy. Mitochondrial deficiencies contribute to neuropathy and include impaired mitochondrial problems with trafficking, mitophagy, fission, and biogenesis. All of these are thought to lead to a bioenergetic crisis, ending in distal axonal degeneration, sensory dysfunction and pain. Heat shock proteins play a critically important role in cellular homeostasis and increasing heat shock protein functions within cells leads to a range of positive improvements, particularly in mitochondria. In addition, new evidence suggests that increasing heat shock protein responses in peripheral nerves has powerful, positive impacts on sensory function and neuropathy. Our interdisciplinary team will investigate the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in peripheral neuropathy and translate these approaches to improve treatment for patients with peripheral neuropathy. We hypothesize that novel heat treatment interventions that improve mitochondrial function will improve metabolic symptoms and peripheral nerve mitochondria, leading to improvements in sensory function, via heat shock protein induction. We will employ immersion heat treatment to elevate heat shock protein responses that induce positive changes in peripheral nerve mitochondria. One aspect is to confirm the efficacy, safety, and potential for heat treatment to improve sensory dysfunction in human patients with prediabetes. The goal of this proposal is 1) to test the breadth of heat treatment on various forms of neuropathy, 2) identify mechanisms in which heat treatment improves mitochondrial function, and 3) test the efficacy, safety, and potential for heat treatment to improve sensory dysfunction in human patients with prediabetes.


Clinical Trial Description

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Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05070741
Study type Interventional
Source University of Kansas Medical Center
Contact Michelle V Vitztum, MPH
Phone (913) 588-1045
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date July 27, 2020
Completion date June 1, 2022

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