A small pilot study showed that the amount of Substance P measured in tears may be a useful marker of diabetic neuropathy.
What is Substance P?
It’s a neuropeptide that is involved in pain perception, contributes to wound healing, and is involved in maintenance and nutrition of the cornea among other things. It can be found throughout the body and, more importantly for this discussion, in the tears.
Ok, go on with the study…
After comparing tear samples of patients with and without diabetes, the authors found a reduced concentration of Substance P in diabetic patients. They state, “reduced levels of substance P is related to early damage to the corneal nerves, which may contribute to the development of corneal ulcers and poor wound healing in patients with diabetes”.
What does this mean for the future?
The research team suggests that a Substance P measurement could be a new and noninvasive test to assess the risk of diabetic neuropathy. (via)