Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Multifrequency vibration could improve early detection of diabetic neuropathy
High blood sugar can cause damage to diabetics’ nerves and could eventually lead to foot ulcers and, in some cases, amputation. Swedish researchers have found that patient perception of vibrations delivered at varying frequencies could become a better way to detect foot ulcers early.
The study, presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, used the CE marked VibroSense Meter from Malmö, Sweden-based VibroSense. The device is indicated for the early detection of impaired vibration sensibility in the hands and fingers that may be caused by neurological, vascular or musculoskeletal injuries, according to the company. It has been used to detect neuropathy in miners, as well as other industries where vibration injury is common, such as construction and auto repair.
The researchers, led by Dr. Eero Lindholm of Skånes University, tested the sensory perception of 364 Type 1 diabetics with and without foot ulcers and 137 healthy people. “The results are very promising and could lead to improved early detection of diabetic foot ulcers,” Lindholm said in a statement. “We have found a strong correlation between foot ulcers and impaired tactile sensation at low vibration frequencies.”
Unlike the current method, where a physician applies a tuning fork to the patient’s foot, the VibroSense delivers vibrations at frequencies ranging from 4 Hz to 500 Hz. The study will continue for another three years, Rogers said. It will include more testing on healthy people to establish a baseline for vibration sensitivity to better determine what is not normal.