Study Explores the Effects of an Approved Type 2 Diabetes Medication on the Sympathetic Nervous System

Research Centre: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Location: Level 4, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne VIC
Lead Researchers: Professor Mark Cooper and Professor David Kaye
Ethics Committee: This study has been reviewed and approved by the Alfred Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee


The sympathetic nervous system is the part of the autonomic or “involuntary” nervous system which regulates heart rate, heart muscle contraction and blood vessel diameter to control blood pressure. It also regulates sweating and release of glucose from the liver.

A recently concluded trial showed that empagliflozin, an approved medication for Type 2 Diabetes, reduced death rates from cardiovascular disease. It was not clear exactly how this happened, though there was a suggestion that empagliflozin was benefiting the sympathetic nervous system.

The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute would like to explore this further and is currently conducting a study which seeks men and women diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Participants are required to attend 9 study visits at the research site over a 5-month period.

Why Participate? 

  • You may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
  • You will be reimbursed for the travel/parking expenses for each visit that you incur as a result of participating in this research project, to a maximum of $30 for travel. (Parking will be reimbursed to a maximum of $23 on presentation of receipts)
  • You will participate in heart studies and monitoring by an endocrinologist. 
  • We cannot guarantee that you will receive any benefits however you may find improved control of your diabetes, improvement in your weight and reduced risk of heart and kidney complications.  
  • Information obtained from this research may benefit people with diabetes in the future.
  • You will be helping to advance medical research on preventing cardiovascular diseases.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you may withdraw at any time.
  • Your records relating to this study and any other information received will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Men and women aged 18-85 diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Have a history of cardiovascular events or disease, or on medication for high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Able to attend 9 study visits at the research site over approximately 5 months.
  • Non-smoking.
  • Has no history of Type 1 Diabetes.

What Next?

  1. Click the link below to enter your contact details and answer some eligibility questions.
  2. The research centre will then contact you by phone to discuss the trial and answer your questions.
Click Here to Enter Your Contact Details and Be Contacted by Phone About the Trial