Diabetes is associated with considerable mortality and morbidity due to the long term complications of the disease. Diabetic neuropathy is a major complication of diabetes and there is increasing evidence to implicate genetic factors together with elevated blood glucose in the susceptibility to this condition. The majority of the studies on the genomics of diabetic neuropathy have focussed on the gene coding for aldose reductase (AKR1B1). Polymorphisms of this gene have been associated with neuropathy. However, the Human Genome Project is likely to provide many more novel candidate genes that play a key role in the pathogenesis of this condition.

Key Words: Aldose reductase; diabetes; diabetic nephropathy; genetics; neuropathy; polyol pathway; retinopathy.

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