Faculty Member

Although evidence has emerged regarding functional neural impairment of all four limbs with a diagnosis of type II diabetes (T2D), there is conflicting evidence regarding impairment in manual function with the disease. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate hand/fingertip function in T2D as compared to healthy age- and gender-matched controls. Ten adults with T2D and ten healthy age- and gender-matched control subjects underwent a battery of clinically validated and laboratory-based evaluations of sensory function, motor function, and quality of life evaluation. The T2D group exhibited sensory dysfunction and altered kinetic output and inconsistent differences in clinically-validated timed performance tasks as compared to age-matched controls. No difference in quality of life was found between the two groups. Sensory dysfunction and some timed evaluations correlated with disease severity. Linear kinetic features did not covary with diminished sensation; however, nonlinear measures did covary with sensation changes. None of the recorded measures were related to clinical diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. The relationship among exhibited behavioral changes is discussed in terms of small fiber neuropathy, micro-vascular adaptations, and endothelial dysfunction co-occurring with T2D.