Peripheral Neuropathy

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Peripheral neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, the vast communications network that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Peripheral nerves carry messages from the brain and spinal cord to muscles, organs and other body tissues. Damage or disease of these nerves are called peripheral neuropathy.

Because nerves are made up of several different types of nerve fibers affecting sensation, movement, pain transmission or balance, symptoms and signs are based on the involved type of nerve fiber.

Diabetic neuropathy is the most common type of neuropathy and affects up to two-thirds of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy often involves the feet and legs and is responsible for lack of sensation, ease of injury and infections.

The signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:

Pain

Numbness

Hypersensitive areas of the skin

Weakness

and muscle atrophy

Most neuropathies are not curable but can be improved with treatment. Medications may be prescribed, including some medications originally developed for treating seizures or depression. These may improve pain and other sensory symptoms in persons with neuropathies.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.