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Robert Sorge, Ph.D.
Robert Sorge, Ph.D.

Type 2 diabetes affects the lives of millions of Americans and is estimated to cost $327 billion in health care and productivity lost annually. It is also associated with pain, lower urinary tract or bladder dysfunction, depression and systemic inflammation, affecting quality of life for patients. To investigate that, scientists most commonly utilize animal models — mice specifically — to explore potential treatments, which may not reflect the complexity of the condition, a study has found.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Robert Sorge, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology, along with Asia Wiggins, his doctoral student in the Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program, Timothy Kraft, Ph.D., professor in the School of Optometry’s Department of Opthalmology and Vision Science, and Anas Alsulami, lab manager, have published a study in the journal Elsevier Physiology and Behavior that shows an improved way to model Type 2 diabetes in mice.

Generally, despite the evidence that carbohydrates are an underlying cause for Type 2 diabetes and the first-line treatments are aimed at reducing carbohydrates, preclinical studies utilize high-fat diets almost exclusively. Sorge’s study examined whether the common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes were better modeled with the standard high-fat diet or a higher-carbohydrate diet that he developed, called the Standard American Diet.

Read More at UAB News.

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