Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases that cause high blood sugar due to functional problems with the pancreas or metabolism. Diabetic patients have few subjective symptoms and may experience decreased sensation without being aware of it. The commonly performed tests for sensory disorders are qualitative in nature. The authors pay attention to the decline of the sensitivity of tactile sensations, and develop a non-invasive method to detect the level of tactile sensation using a novel micro-vibration actuator that employs shape-memory alloy wires. Previously, we performed a pilot study that applied the device to 15 diabetic patients and confirmed a significant reduction in the tactile sensation in diabetic patients when compared to healthy subjects. In this study, we focus on the asymptomatic development of decreased sensation associated with diabetes mellitus. The objectives are to examine diabetic patients who are unaware of abnormal or decreased sensation using the quantitative tactile sensation measurement device and to determine whether tactile sensation is decreased in patients compared to healthy controls. The finger method is used to measure the Tactile Sensation Threshold (TST) score of the index and middle fingers using the new device and the following three procedures: TST-1, TST-4, and TST-8. TST scores ranged from 1 to 30 were compared between the two groups. The TST scores were significantly higher for the diabetic patients (P < 0.05). The TST scores for the left fingers of diabetic patients and healthy controls were 5.9 ± 6.2 and 2.7 ± 2.9 for TST-1, 15.3 ± 7.0 and 8.7 ± 6.4 for TST-4, and 19.3 ± 7.8 and 12.7 ± 9.1 for TST-8. Our data suggest that the use of the new quantitative tactile sensation measurement device enables the detection of decreased tactile sensation in diabetic patients who are unaware of abnormal or decreased sensation compared to controls.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
- Artificial Intelligence
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering