Peripheral Neuropathy Shown to Impair Driving Performance

Peripheral Neuropathy Shown to Impair Driving Performance

Peripheral Neuropathy Shown to Impair Driving Performance

Researchers in the United Kingdom found peripheral neuropathy impaired a motorist’s ability to drive a car and put the driver at greater risk of losing control of his or her vehicle.1 The good news is, with practice, the drivers were able to improve their skills.

Note: Despite all advances in stem cells research and the application of these therapies in many countries all over the world, stem cells therapies are not legally approved yet in San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Jacksonville, Seattle, Houston, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Miami, Beverly Hills and other US cities. However, stem cell treatments are legal in Costa Rica.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs when nerves to and from the brain and spinal cord are damaged. Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Loss of sensation in the arms and legs
  • Sharp, jabbing or throbbing pain
  • Freezing or burning pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Lack of coordination and falling
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis
  • Heat intolerance and altered sweating
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Buzzing or shocking sensation

Study Design

In March, 2019 in Diabetic Medicine, researchers published the results of a study evaluating the effect diabetic neuropathy had on foot strength, ankle strength and driving performance. Thirty-two individuals participated in the study; 11 patients with diabetic nephropathy, 10 patients with diabetes and no neuropathy, and 11 patients without diabetes. Investigators measured maximal ankle plantar flexor muscle strength; speed of strength generation, and degrees of ankle repositioning error. Driving performance was measured using, driving speed, degree of accelerator pedal, and loss-of-control events during two, 3.1mile, simulated driving events.


When compared to patients without diabetes and patients with diabetes but no peripheral neuropathy, patients with peripheral neuropathy had lower speed of strength generation, lower maximal ankle plantar flexor muscle strength and impaired ankle repositioning. The patients with peripheral neuropathy drove slower and had the longest duration of loss-of-control events.

During the second drive simulation all groups increased their speeds but the participants with peripheral neuropathy still had the slowest driving times. Additionally, despite driving more slowly, study participants with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, had a significantly higher rate of loss-of-control events however, during the second drive simulation this group was able to reduce the number of loss-of-control events. So, with practice, and strength training, patients with diabetic neuropathy may be able to improve their driving performance.

Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a general term to used describe any condition that results in damage to one or more nerves. Injury or disease can damage the nerves at any location and the type of neuropathy is typically classified by the location of the damaged nerves or by the disease causing the damage. Nerves that carry signals to and from the brain and spinal cord are called peripheral nerves. The signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy will depend on which nerves are damaged. Peripheral nerve damage can occur in the:

  • arms
  • hands
  • feet
  • legs
  • internal organs
  • mouth
  • face

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute recommends human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Mesenchymal stem cells produce:

  1. Proteins that support the growth and survival of neurons
  2. Angiogenic factors that are essential for the healing, growth, development, and maintenance of blood vessels
  3. Immunomodulatory substances that can reverse the damage to the nerves.1,2 

Clinical trials have shown mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to differentiate, self-renew, suppress the immune system, reduce inflammation, and repair tissues.  

Stem cell therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute can also treat diabetes, the underlying cause of the peripheral neuropathy.

By targeting the cells in the pancreas, and reducing inflammation, stem cell therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, may decrease hyperglycemia and improve the symptoms associated with diabetes.

Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to:

  • Differentiate into insulin-producing cells
  • Regenerate and protect pancreatic cells
  • Restore beta cell function and mass
  • Convert alpha cell to beta cells
  • Reduce inflammation and insulin resistance

What is the recommended treatment protocol for diabetes and diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute recommends the use of hUC-MSCs for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Treatment includes:

  1. 1cc vial of 30 million mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood
  2. Antioxidant therapy with vitamin C and glutathione
  3. Ozone therapy
  4. Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP)

For more information about stem cell therapy for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, contact the Stem Cells Transplant Institute today. 

Scientific References:

  1. Perazzolo M, et al. Diabet Med. 2019;doi:10.1111/dme.13957.

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