An international team of researchers has resurrected a once-discarded
theory to explain the mechanism underlying how chronic hyperglycemia in diabetes
causes the microvascular complications that lead to diabetic retinopathy and
other tissue problems. The findings, they say, may point to new avenues of
research into novel therapies to treat such conditions.
Scientists from the United States and Denmark report that studies in
laboratory rats bolster the idea that a primary cause of microvascular complications
is chemically reactive, tissue-damaging free radicals and other chemical changes
resulting from the increased transfer of electrons and protons from glucose
to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) by a sequence of chemical reactions
known as the sorbitol pathway (Diabetes. 2004;53:2931-2938).
Mitka M. Diabetic Retinopathy Mechanism Probed. JAMA. 2005;293(2):148-149. doi:10.1001/jama.293.2.148