Don’t sugar coat it: Cardiac consequences of developing Type 2 diabetes after spinal cord injury

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research/Rick Hansen Institute (RHI)/International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD) Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

People with spinal cord injury (SCI) are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Currently, no studies have investigated type 2 diabetes in people with SCI. We believe it may contribute to the high rate of heart disease among people with SCI.

The aim of the present study is to develop an animal model of SCI combined with type 2 diabetes. We will then use this model to see whether type 2 diabetes progresses more quickly after SCI, whether developing type 2 diabetes after SCI impairs function of the heart, and possible causes of the negative impact of type 2 diabetes on heart function.

Should we find that type 2 diabetes impairs heart function, this will lead to further studies aimed at preventing and treating type 2 diabetes in people with SCI. Our findings could aid in the clinical management and treatment of people with SCI and significantly improve their health and quality of life.