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Casey Receives Grant Funding from American Diabetes Association

Congratulations to Darren Casey, PhD, assistant professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, for recently receiving the American Diabetes Association Innovative Clinical or Translational Science Award. For his proposal entitled -  Nitrate supplementation and exercise tolerance in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Casey received this award after a National Competition that selected a fraction of the most meritorious proposals.

Exercise intolerance is a consistent finding in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Reduced exercise capacity  is associated with increased cardiovascular related events and death.  Two key determinants of exercise tolerance and capacity are 1) oxygen delivery to the metabolically active tissue (e.g. skeletal muscle) and 2) the utilization of oxygen within skeletal muscle, both of which are impaired in patients with type 2 diabetes. Nitric Oxide, is made by blood vessels and plays an important role in dilating blood vessels to maintain flow to tissues in the body. Many researchers have shown that blood vessels from patients with diabetes make less nitric oxide than healthy vessels.  Since reduction in bioavailable nitric oxide has been implicated as a potential mechanism for impaired oxygen delivery and utilization in the muscles of diabetics, the novel studies outlined in his proposal will provide unique insight into the therapeutic potential of dietary nitrate supplementation for increasing bioavailable nitric oxide and subsequently improving skeletal muscle blood flow, mitochondrial function and exercise capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes. If these studies confirm that supplementation of dietary nitrates will improve blood vessel function and exercise capacity in diabetic subjects then future studies will determine if these improvements will translate to less cardiovascular complications and a longer life.

The FOEDRC is proud of Dr. Casey’s achievement in our quest to prevent or treat many of the complications associated with diabetes.

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