Introduction: Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic, chronic and incurable disease which reduces span and quality of life. Over 50% of diabetic patients have clinical manifestations of diabetic neuropathy.
Aim: To show a positive influence of alpha lipoic acid on clinically manifested diabetic neuropathy symptoms as well as the effect of alpha lipoic acid in patients glycaemic control.
Material and methods: Testing has been conducted in Cantonal Hospital"Irfan Ljubijankic MD" in Bihac and included 20 diabetes type 2 patients who were diagnosed with clinically manifested diabetic neuropathy. All the patients' conditions were evaluated by: medical history, clinical parameters, detailed internal examination, laboratory analyses for glycaemic control assessment and mono filament test. They were treated with oral anti-diabetics and insulin as well as with alpha lipoic acid preparation in duration of four months. They were divided into two groups, with good (HbA1c < 7%) and poor (HbAc > or = 7%) glycaemic control. Medical control has been conducted four months after the research started.
Results: Twenty patients took part in the research, 7 male and 13 female. The average age of the patients was 58.6 in the first and 55.6 years in the second group. The average patients' disease duration was 13.4 +/- 6.6 years in the first and 11.2 +/- 5.4 years in the second group. The difference in gender, average age and disease duration in both groups statistically is not significant (p < or = 0.05). The number of negative points after the therapy has been reduced for 56.4% in the first and 43.1% for the second group (p < or = 0.05). Prior to the treatment, all the patients in both groups had paresthesia. At medical checkup, there were 40% less patients in the first group and 10% in the second one (p < or = 0.01). The difference is statistically significant (p < or = 0.05) in night pain occurrence between two groups of patients after alpha lipoic acid treatment (40% more patients had night pain in the second group after the treatment). The same number of patients in both groups, 40% had muscle atrophy and difficulty in walking. At medical checkup, 30% in first group and 20% less patients had discomforts (p > or = 0.05). Regression of subjective sensations in both groups of patients after alpha lipoic acid treatment has been noted.
Conclusion: Alfa lipoic acid is an effective drug in the treatment of diabetic distal sensory-motor neuropathy and its therapeutic effect is more effective in patients with good glycaemic control.