The Society of Diabetic Neuropathy – an Example of Interdisciplinarity

“The medicine of XXI century will be interdisciplinary or it won’t be at all”

 

Conf. Dr. Ioan Andrei Vereşiu, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Haţieganu” Cluj-Napoca

 

Paraphrasing a famous quotation, I might say that “the medicine of XXI century will be interdisciplinary or it won’t be at all”. The quantity and the diversity of medical information involved overspecialisation, but the pathogenic and therapeutic complexity of non-transmissible chronic diseases (and of diabetes mellitus among them), held responsible for the majority of deceases in the world nowadays, make the continuous and efficient interdisciplinary collaboration to be indispensable.

Diabetic neuropathy is the most common chronic complication of diabetes mellitus, involving both the peripheral nervous system (most frequently) and the central nervous system (an area still insufficiently known and intensely studied), both somatic aspects and the vegetative ones. Its major consequences are the lowering of the quality of life, increasing the risk of lower limb amputations, and also the significant increase of the mortality risk generated by the involvement of cardiac autonomous nervous system involvement. Protein glication and oxidative stress are the main pathogenic mechanisms and, in the same time, the main therapeutic targets.

In this context, the Society of Diabetic Neuropathy was born as a necessity imposed on one hand by the always growing number of patients with this complication, and on the other hand by the complexity of care, these patients requiring, in time, the neurologists expertise, continuous supervising of diabetologists, but also the involvement of family physicians, of surgeons, of psychiatrist and even of other specialists. The interdisciplinary communication and the synchronisation of strategies are the main objectives of the Society. Having as founding members Prof. Dr. Maria Moţa, President of the Romanian Society of Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, and Prof. Dr. Ovidiu Băjenaru and Prof. Dr. Fior Dafin Mureşanu and other personalities – diabetologists, neurologists, surgeons, epidemiologists – I believe that we have among the best premises.

In the one year since the Society’s establishment, under the leadership of the first President, my colleague Prof. Dr. Amorin Popa, and animated by the tireless endeavour of the General Secretary, Mrs. Norina Gâvan, the Society rapidly gained notoriety, proved by the increase of the number of enrolled members, but also by the number of internet site accessing. Important personalities in this field, from our country or abroad, expressed appreciative consideration regarding this initiative. The Society continued its already traditional “Summer Schools” for residents and young diabetology and neurology specialists, and initiated and led its first study on a representative number of Romanian patients, concerning the quality of life of the patients with diabetic neuropathy, having at hand a complex questionnaire used in USA and in some Europe.

This year is intended to be devoted to the Society. Its first National Conference will take place, with a remarkable national and international participation. Between the 14-th and the 19-th of October there will be the first “Week of diabetic neuropathy”, with workshops for family physicians, diabetologists and neurologists taking place in numerous counties, and also a project under the Society’s auspices that we consider to be a foreground one, where through there were initiated in many counties work meetings between specialists and patients, the beneficiaries of our efforts.

And not at last, the Society intends to actively participate, as a partner of the Professional Societies and Specialty Commissions of the Ministry of Health, for elaborating guidelines and protocols for caring the patients with diabetic neuropathy.

Taking over the Society’s presidency in the present mandate, I am convinced that I have besides me dedicated colleagues and friends and that together we will succeed to take another step forward in increasing the quality of care for our patients.