Raising awareness of diabetic neuropathy

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 16:30:00 BST

The Sugar Group is a Moss Side support group for older African-Caribbean people with Type 2 diabetes, which addresses the heightened risk of diabetes for black and minority ethnic communities.

Dr Natalie Gardiner, Director of Social Responsibility for the School of Medical Sciences, was invited to attend a meeting of the Sugar Group and talk about the work conducted in her lab to understand diabetic neuropathy.

Approximately half of all people with diabetes will develop diabetic neuropathy, which is characterised by nerve degeneration. The main danger is the loss of protective sensation; people may not notice injuries such as burns from hot water. Relatively minor injuries could lead to infections or in the worst case, amputations. There is no current treatment for diabetic neuropathy.

The group used information from Natalie and other speakers to work with an artist to create a comic book to raise awareness of this complication.

Sugar Group Facilitator, Sandra Stapleton said of the book: "Making local people the heroes of their own comic magazine provides a colourful and creative way to turn the tables on this terrible disease."

Innovative collaboration such as this between the Sugar Group and the University allows people to better understand their disease, and know how to manage it in a way that helps them live their lives to the full.

Natalie commented: "I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with the group; I would wholeheartedly recommend all scientists to engage with community groups."