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Study finds drugs that can reverse nerve damage

People who suffer from chronic numbness or pain and tingling in their extremities, caused by diabetes or other conditions, might soon get relief.

A study by an international team of researchers has found that a class of drugs prescribed for other medical issues such as nearsightedness, incontinence or peptic ulcers may also prevent numbness and pain in fingers, arms and legs.

Led by Dr. Paul Fernyhough of the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, and Dr. Nigel Calcutt of the University of California at San Diego, the researchers found that antimuscarinic drugs such as atropine or pirenzepine can reverse the numbness and pain, called neuropathy, often experienced by people with diabetes, HIV, or as a side effect of cancer chemotherapy.

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