Grip force control and hand dexterity are impaired in individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy

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de Almeida Lima, Kaue Carvalho
Borges, Leandro da Silva
Hatanaka, Elaine
Rolim, Luiz Clemente [UNIFESP]
de Freitas, Paulo Barbosa
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Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) affects the sensory function of the hands and, consequently, may negatively impact hand dexterity, maximum grip strength (GS(Max)), and hand grip force (GF) control during object manipulation. The aims of this study were to examine and compare the GF control during a simple holding task as well as GS(Max) and hand dexterity of individuals with DPN and healthy controls. Ten type 2 diabetic individuals diagnosed with DPN and ten age- and gender-matched healthy controls performed two traditional timed hand dexterity tests (i.e., nine-hole peg test and Jebsen-Taylor hand function test), a GS(Max) test, and a GF control test (i.e., hold a instrumented handle). The results indicated that individuals with DPN and controls produced similar GS(Max). However, individuals with DPN took longer to perform the hand dexterity tests and set lower safety margin (exerted lower GF) than controls when holding the handle. The findings showed that mild to moderate DPN did not significantly affect maximum hand force generation, but does impair hand dexterity and hand GF control, which could impair the performance of daily living manipulation tasks and put them in risk of easily dropping handheld objects.
Neuroscience Letters. Clare, v. 659, p. 54-59, 2017.