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J Korean Diabetes Assoc. 2006 Mar;30(2):112-121. Korean. Original Article.
Lee H , Min KW , Han KA .
Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Eulji University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Diabetic neuropathy represents a major health problem, as it is responsible for substantial morbidity, increased mortality, and impaired quality of life. Antioxidant treatment has been shown to prevent nerve dysfunction, providing a rationale for a potential therapeutic value in diabetic patients. The safety and efficacy of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) given intravenously were proved in many studies, but the oral treatment remains to be established. Therefore we compare the efficacy and safety of ALA given intravenously followed by oral treatment and given only orally. METHODS: 45 outpatients were randomly assigned to sequential treatment with ALA intravenously for 2 weeks, followed by orally for 10 weeks (group 1, n = 21); ALA orally for 12 weeks (group 2, n = 24). The primary end point was change of the sum score of severity and duration of total symptom score (TSS). HbA1c and safety parameters were determined at baseline and after 12 weeks. RESULTS: The TSS was significantly decreased from baseline to 2 week and 12 week in both groups. But no significant differences between the two groups were noted at 2 week and 12 week. There were no significant changes in HbA1c and safety parameters between baseline and 12 week. The rate of adverse events were 47.6% in group 1 and 12.5% in group 2. CONCLUSION: We conclude that both methods of ALA treatment are effective to improve the symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy, and the safety was probably superior in oral treatment method

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