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Peripheral neuropathies and motor neuron disorders 

Peripheral neuropathies and motor neuron disorders
Chapter:
Peripheral neuropathies and motor neuron disorders
Author(s):

Stéphane Mathis

, Pierre Bouche

, and Jean-Michel Vallat

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0112
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date: 18 October 2019

Peripheral nervous system disorders are common in older people. Most peripheral neuropathies are secondary to metabolic (diabetes) or toxic causes (medications, alcohol), but several other aetiologies are possible, requiring clinical, electrophysiological, biological, and sometimes pathological (nerve biopsy) examinations to make the right diagnosis and instigate effective treatments. However, despite using this strategy, no cause is found in some axonal polyneuropathies, leading to the concept of chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy (CIAP). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects the peripheral nervous system, but is also characterized by central nervous system involvement: it is a strictly motor disorder affecting both the first and second motor neurons, usually presenting during the sixth or seventh decade. This rapidly progressive, still incurable neurodegenerative disease leads to death in all cases.

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