A symposium at the University of Birmingham on July 4th will discuss the latest research into Type 2 Diabetes and exercise.

The one-day event hosted by the University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences brings together speakers from the US, Australia and the UK to discuss the impact Type 2 diabetes has on the vascular system.

Professor Stephen Rattigan from the University of Tasmania in Australia and Professor Jefferson Frisbee from West Virginia University, USA, will discuss recent work which shows that people with Type 2 Diabetes experience significant problems with blood flow to their muscles. The final presentation of the day, by Dr Margaret Brown, will look at the role regular exercise can play in helping repair the blood flow to the muscles. Their work suggests that exercise can play a very important role in helping solve these problems.

Type 2 Diabetes affects more than 2 million people in the UK and is a rapidly growing public health problem. The increase in cases of Type 2 Diabetes is strongly linked to the increase in obesity in the UK.

Professor Anton Wagenmakers, the symposium organiser, said: “For a long time it has been thought that diabetes is primarily caused by a defect in the muscle cells which prevents insulin from being able to stimulate glucose uptake in the muscle. However, in this symposium we will hear that the main problem resides in the inability of insulin to increase muscle blood flow due to a defect in the vascular wall. Exercise can restore the impairments in the vascular wall and, therefore, has immense health benefits, much larger than any drug has.

“This is relatively new area of research, which demonstrates again the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle in reducing the disabling effects of Type 2 diabetes.”

The symposium: “Microvascular control and muscle metabolism in health and disease: the benefits of exercise”, takes place at the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. The event begins at 10am and finishes around 4pm.


Further information: Ben Hill - Press Officer, University of Birmingham

tel: 0121 414 5134 / 07789 921163