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Degenerative Changes Identified in Spinal Discs and Reversed With Drug Cocktail In Diabetic Mice
Date:5/17/2013

New York, NY (PRWEB) May 17, 2013

Degenerative changes to the area of the spinal disc that absorbs most of the shock felt with compression, known as the nucleus pulposus, has been demonstrated and reversed in a diabetic mouse model, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The study, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, reinforces the importance of diabetes in inducing degenerative changes to the vertebrae and intervertebral discs, and it is the first study to demonstrate that these changes can be slowed with oral drugs that inhibit both advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and inflammation.

AGEs are altered sugars that are formed by chemical reactions when foods are heated, pasteurized, dried, smoked, fried, or grilled and are often increased in western diets. When absorbed in high amounts AGEs can build up in the body, stick to tissues and oxidize them, causing inflammation.

“This is the first study to show that oral drugs may slow the natural history of diabetes-induced changes within the spine in animals, and we think that this approach holds promise in developing early effective treatments for the epidemics of diabetes and back pain,” said the study’s senior author, James C. Iatridis, PhD, Professor in the Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Low back pain and intervertebral disc problems accounted for 40.5 million in patient visits in 2005, high medical costs, and lost productivity. Diabetes is now at epidemic levels in the United States (26.5 million in the United States) and around the world (346 million).

In this study, researchers examined whether diabetes directly resulted in pathological changes to intervertebral discs and vertebrae of the lumbar spine, via accumulation of advanced glycation end products and increased inflammation. A second goal was to see whether a com
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