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Diseases of the peripheral nerves 

Diseases of the peripheral nerves
Chapter:
Diseases of the peripheral nerves
Author(s):

Robert D.M. Hadden

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0605
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date: 07 March 2021

This chapter first describes normal physiology, then principles of pathology, typical clinical symptoms and phenotypic subtypes. Lesions of a single nerve (mononeuropathy) include carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy at the elbow and many less commonly affected nerves. Polyneuropathy (generalised abnormality in proportion to nerve length) characteristically causes predominantly distal sensory loss and weakness, and has a large number of possible causes. These include diabetes mellitus, toxins including alcohol, malnutrition especially vitamin B12 deficiency, autoimmune inflammatory demyelination, vasculitis, and genetic neuropathies (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), although many patients remain idiopathic despite investigation. Only some causes are treatable. The disease process usually primarily affects the axon, but less commonly there is primary demyelination, neuronopathy or interstitial infiltration.

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