If your client lives with type 2 diabetes and has been diagnosed
with peripheral neuropathy, Dr Brooke Coombes may have the offer of
Dr Coombes and researchers at Griffith University and the
University of Queensland are recruiting for 20 participants in a
study that will evaluate a new approach to managing exercise using
the latest technology for people living with type 2 diabetes and
"The volunteers I'm looking for are classically excluded from
type 2 diabetes studies because their condition is too complex," Dr
"This is a chance for people who are trying to get active but
find that pain or altered sensation in their feet interfere with
To be eligible for the program, Dr Coombes said participants
must not be using a walking aid and can attend four sessions over a
month at the Griffith Uni Nathan campus in Brisbane.
Each session will last for two hours, with input from exercise
experts such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist who will offer participants a range
of exercises both in a gym and outside.
"We'll be trying different types and intensities of exercises so
that each person can see the effects on symptoms and what works
best for them," Dr Coombes said.
Health and clinical psychologist Dr Nicola Burton, an expert in
behavioural change, will also advise on adopting and then
maintaining exercise after the 12-week study is
Volunteers will learn about Personal Activity Intelligence
(PAI), a science-based metric that uses heart-rate tracking to
optimize the health effects of exercise.
"We'll aim for volunteers to collect 100 PAI points a week," Dr
Coombes said. "It's proven that PAI can extend life expectancy by
an average of five years, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular
disease by 25 per cent."
Points are calculated by the PAI Connect phone app, which is
downloaded for free. Volunteers must have a smart phone. Individual
data is collected from a free fitness watch (valued at $200).
"Most people with diabetes know that physical activity will help
them. When people have peripheral neuropathy, understanding what
types of exercise, pain and physical symptoms are safe can get
confusing," Dr Coombes said. "Sometimes the nervous system becomes
more sensitive so that it overreacts to sensations."
"Generally, we're told that if an exercise or the intensity of
the exercise hurts, we should stop. That advice isn't always right
when it comes to peripheral neuropathy."
Dr Coombes said some of the accepted wisdom about physical
activity doesn't translate for people with type 2 and peripheral
"For example, short bursts of high intensity exercise may be
more tolerable for individuals who are unable to exercise for
extended periods because of foot symptoms.
"Our program brings together experts from many areas of diabetes
research to help individuals get the best results with the lowest
risk," Dr Coombes said.
The research will start after the first 10 people have been
If you have clients who may be interested in joining this
research, ask them to click on this link
https://tinyurl.com/y5j4boas to check if they're eligible
or for further information.