Prediabetic neuropathy: does it exist?

Curr Diab Rep. 2012 Aug;12(4):376-83. doi: 10.1007/s11892-012-0278-3.


It is now increasingly being appreciated that a substantial proportion of subjects with prediabetes may exhibit peripheral neuropathy and/or neuropathic pain. The reverse is also true, inasmuch as examining patients with idiopathic peripheral neuropathy will frequently reveal prediabetes. In the general population, the prevalence of neuropathy in prediabetes is intermediate between overt diabetes and subjects with normoglycemia. This prediabetic neuropathy is, generally, milder in comparison to diabetic neuropathy and mainly affects small fibers mediating sensory function. Hyperglycemia, microangiopathy, dyslipidemia and the metabolic syndrome have been implicated as pathogenic mechanisms. In practice, therapy of prediabetic neuropathy should be addressed towards normoglycemia and correction of cardiovascular risk factors. However, additional work is needed to establish the long-term results of this approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / blood
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology*
  • Glucose Intolerance / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuralgia / blood
  • Neuralgia / epidemiology*
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / blood
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Prediabetic State / blood
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology*
  • Prediabetic State / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose