Hereditary Neuropathy

Also known as: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, CMT, progressive neuropathic (peroneal) muscular atrophy, hereditary peroneal muscle dysfunction, neuropathy-peroneal (hereditary), hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy.

What is hereditary neuropathy?

Hereditary neuropathy is a medical term that refers to a group of different inherited medical conditions that cause progressive loss of function (and sensation) from abnormally working nerves that carry signals from the spinal cord to muscles (peripheral nervous system).

They may be diagnosed at birth or much later in life. The most common form of hereditary neuropathy is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, or CMT.

What causes hereditary neuropathy?

Hereditary neuropathy is an inherited genetic disorder carried by a parent (autosomal dominant trait) and passed onto their children.

What are the symptoms of hereditary neuropathy?

Though symptoms can vary between children (even in the same family), most will have some or all of the following:

  • muscle weakness (especially in the ankle, foot and leg)
  • foot deformities
  • curved spine or hip abnormalities
  • loss of pain sensitivity
  • difficulty with walking, running and balance
  • pain, numbness, tingling and other symptoms.

What are hereditary neuropathy care options?

Treatment is focused on managing symptoms and helping children with hereditary neuropathy to live the best life possible. This can include medication, bracing, surgery and physical therapy, among other treatments.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: November 06, 2023 03:13 PM

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