Use of arthritis drug to treat diabetics being tested at Tulane

January 11, 2007

Madeline Vann
Phone: 504-247-1425

An anti-inflammatory drug dating back to the 1800s may help people with Type II diabetes, says Tulane endocrinologist Vivian Fonseca. Fonseca is collaborating in a national clinical trial to test the use of the drug Salsalate, which has historically been used to treat arthritis, as a treatment for diabetes.

Recent research shows that a protein that triggers mild bodywide inflammation is turned on when people carry excess weight. That inflammation in turn can cause insulin resistance and Type II diabetes. Salsalate turns off the protein and may help relieve diabetes. Because the drug has been used for so long in humans, it is known to be a safe treatment, says Fonseca.

The only question is how it will affect Type II diabetes. Fonseca is seeking adults with Type II diabetes to participate in the trial. If eligible, they will receive free health screenings as well as medication. Fonseca is co-prinicpal investigator with Steven Shoelsen, a diabetes researcher at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Fourteen other sites around the country are also recruiting participants.

For more information or to find out how to qualify for the study, call 504-988-4651. 

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000