Walking barefoot on sand “felt like walking on glass” for Keith Wenckowski, who has lived with type-one diabetes for more than two decades.

One of the participants in a new Northwestern Medicine study who suffered from painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), Wenckowski finally found relief from the constant foot pain that required him to wear shoes at all times, even to the beach.

The study found that those with PDN who received two low dose rounds of a non-viral gene therapy called VM202 had significant improvement of their pain that lasted for months.

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