New diabetes study looking for applicants

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it's a disease that runs rampant in our deep fried, fully-buttered southern state.

"Unless diabetes is controlled it will lead to complication. It's the leading cause of A-traumatic blindness in this country. Half of the individuals on dialysis have diabetes. It's one of the leading causes of amputations and peripheral neuropathy," said Dr. William Cefalu, the Assoc Exec Director for Scientific Affairs and CSO at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The most common treatment is a medication called metformin, which helps to regulate blood sugar.  Because the disease usually gets worse over time, additional meds are often eventually added to the treatment.   However, figuring out what combination of drugs is best for a patient is a guessing game.

"You're really not certain for that particular patient what the best combination is. Right now, it's essentially trial-and-error," said Cefalu.

A new study from Pennington hopes to take the guess work out of treatment. Over several years, the GRADE Study will compare how various medicines work with metformin, and what works best for different types of patients.

"It will tailor the treatment based on the person's characteristics. It will tell us what treatment works best for a particular patient, at what particular setting," said Cefalu about the end goal of the study.

The study also hopes to cut some of the huge costs associated with diabetes.

The study only requires the participant to come into Pennington four times a year to screened, and during that time researchers are also working with the primary physician.

There are a few qualifications for the study:

- You must be at least 30 years old, and have been 30 or older by the time of diagnosis

- Been diagnosed within the last five years

- Currently only taking the medicine metformin

To enroll or learn more about the study, click here, or call (225) 763-3000.

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