The burden of diabetes in Louisiana is estimated to be $5.4 billion annually. That very startling statistic comes from the American Diabetes Association. The ADA says that every year an estimated 35,000 Louisiana residents are diagnosed with the disease. The more frightening fact is that it's estimated that 124,000 Louisianians have diabetes and don't know it.

Quelling the epidemic of diabetes across our state, in particular Type 1 Diabetes, is the focus of Dr. Karen Briski. Dr. Briski is a researcher at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She was recently awarded a grant of $1.7 million to continue her study into reducing harmful effects of hypoglycemia.

This condition, hypoglycemia, can cause cell damage in the nervous system. It can also create neurological dysfunction.

The brain is particularly sensitive to less than adequate glucose levels.

That's what Dr. Briski recently told the Louisiana Radio Network in story published over the weekend.

While Dr. Briski's reasearch hopes to be groundbreaking in improving the quality of life for those who suffer with Type 1 Diabetes the grant she received is also history making in its own right. It is the single largest grant ever awarded to a faculty member in the history of ULM.

Many of us here do very good, cutting edge research. We’re always happy and very proud to receive recognition from the research community, such as this award.

The grant was awarded by the National Institute of Health.