Diabetes is a well-known cause of neuropathy, and this condition is highly prevalent in older adults. In addition, decrements in sensory and motor nerve function are observed as age advances. The relationship of both age and diabetes with occurrence of peripheral neuropathy, coupled with the potential role of peripheral neuropathy in decreasing lower extremity function in old age suggest that study of peripheral neuropathy in relation to lower extremity function in older adults may contribute to our understanding of pathways leading to disability in old age. This pilot study examines cross-sectional relationships between peripheral neuropathy and lower extremity function in older adults. Data generated by this study will help determine if measurement of peripheral neuropathy is feasible in population based studies of older adults, and if these measurements are likely to be associated with lower extremity physical function. Hypotheses:Older individuals with diabetes and no symptomatic peripheral neuropathy will exhibit decrements in nerve function compared to older adults without diabetes.In older adults, measures of nerve conduction velocity and quantitative sensory testing will be worse in people with symptomatic peripherla neuropathy compared to people without symptomatic peripheral neuropathy, and in people with diabetes compared to people without diabetes.Individuals with worse measures of nerve conduction and worse quantitative sensory abilities will have exhibit worse performance on lower extremity function tests related to strength, balance and coordination. - diabetes, peripheral neuropathy - Human Subjects

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Intramural Research (Z01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (EDB)
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National Institute on Aging
United States
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