Novel therapeutics for type 2 diabetes: Insulin resistance

QA Altaf, AH Barnett, AA Tahrani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin resistance (IR) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease. Hence improving IR is a major target of treatment in patients with T2D. Obesity and lack of exercise are major causes of IR. However, recent evidence implicates sleep disorders and disorders of the circadian rhythm in the pathogenesis of IR. Weight loss and lifestyle changes are the cornerstone and most effective treatments of IR, but adherence and patient's acceptability are poor. Bariatric surgery results in significant and sustainable long-term weight loss associated with beneficial impact on IR and glucose metabolism, making this an attractive treatment option for patients with T2D. Currently available pharmacological options targeting IR (such as metformin and thiazolidinediones) do not maintain glycaemic measures within targets long term and can be associated with significant side effects. Over the last two decades, many pharmacological agents targeting different aspects of the insulin signalling pathway were developed to improve IR, but only a minority reached clinical trials. Such treatments need to be specific and reversible as many of the components of the insulin signalling pathway are involved in other cellular functions such as apoptosis. Recent evidence highlighted the role of circadian rhythm and sleep-related disorders in the pathogenesis of IR. In this article, we review the latest developments in the pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions targeting IR including bariatric surgery. We will also review the role of circadian rhythm and sleep-related disorders in the development and treatment of IR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Insulin mimetics
  • Insulin resistance
  • Novel therapies
  • Obesity
  • Sleep
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Medicine(all)


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