Researchers at the University of Bristol are investigating a new way of treating diabetes following funding awarded by the British Heart Foundation.

The team of researchers, led by Dr Sebastian Oltean, will investigate why a process called ‘alternative splicing’ doesn’t occur properly in people with diabetes.

Alternative splicing is a process which turns sections of DNA into proteins to perform vital functions in the body. People with diabetes experience problems with this process, which leads to the production of abnormal proteins and consequently accelerates diabetes-related complications

The scientists, who will study the cause of these complications in people with diabetes, will seek to understand the mechanisms that go wrong during alternative splicing in the hope of developing new treatments for diabetes.

Madeleine Pinschof, a senior clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Bristol office said: “Millions of people suffer from diabetes in the UK, and poor management of the condition can lead to serious consequences including amputation, cardiovascular disease and blindness.

“The researchers behind this latest study are hopeful that they may be able to develop a new method of treating diabetes in the future, but whilst we are waiting to see if it will become a reality it is essential that patients with diabetes today receive the care required to properly manage their condition.

“The government must ensure that appropriate resources and staffing is in place so that the NHS can carry out essential diabetes health checks that prevent dangerous complications and save lives.”