Alliance for Reduction of Diabetes Associated Microvascular Dysfunction (ADAM)
Research Priority Area
- Diabetes and Obesity
How to Join
Contact Karen Dodridge
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to cardiovascular disease, renal disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. All are serious problems related to microvascular dysfunction, a condition that causes the small blood vessels to work poorly, reducing blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.
With the support of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Alliance Research Initiative, the Alliance for Reduction of Diabetes Associated Microvascular Dysfunction (ADAM) will work to integrate research efforts to uncover how microvascular dysfunction develops. The team’s goal is to advance the discovery of new treatments of disorders – including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive decline – involving this condition.
ADAM is led by Florin Despa, PhD, professor in the department of pharmacology and nutritional sciences, who focuses on the role of microvascular dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease, and Larry Goldstein, MD, associate dean for clinical research and chair of the department of neurology, an expert on stroke and cerebrovascular disorders.
ADAM’s team is already at work on a critical clinical study. One of the effects of microvascular dysfunction in type 2 diabetes is a painful condition called peripheral neuropathy, damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Patients can experience pain, a pins-and-needles sensation, numbness, and weakness, usually in the hands and feet. ADAM members are conducting research on patients to determine if the level of amylin, a hormone that aids in digestion, is related to the severity of this condition.
Study participants have a small amount of skin scraped from their forearm and a blood sample collected before undergoing a series of sensation tests in the arms and hands. The results may identify a correlation between the amount of amylin present in the blood and skin of the forearm and the extent of the peripheral neuropathy. If so, researchers will have gained an important insight into possible treatments for the condition.
- Saurav Das, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Neurology
- Florin Despa, PhD, Professor – Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences
- Sanda Despa, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences
- Justin Fraser, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Neurosurgery
- Larry Goldstein, MD, Chair and Professor – Department of Neurology
- Louis Hersh, PhD, Professor – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
- Gregory Jicha, MD, PhD, Professor – Department of Neurology
- Paul Murphy, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
- Nada Porter, PhD, Chair and Associate Professor – Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences
- Aurelia Radulescu, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Pediatrics
- Vlad Radulescu, MD, Professor – Department of Pediatrics
- Lila Sheikhi, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Neurology
- Nirmal Verma, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences
- Donna Wilcock, PhD, Assistant Dean of Biomedicine – Sanders Brown Center on Aging