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Diseases of the peripheral nerves 

Diseases of the peripheral nerves
Diseases of the peripheral nerves

R.D.M. Hadden

, P.K. Thomas

, and R.A.C. Hughes


July 30, 2015: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.


Chapter reviewed, minor updates made.

Small fibre neuropathy section updated.

A relevant case history from Neurological Case Histories: Case Histories in Acute Neurology and the Neurology of General Medicine has been added to this chapter.

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date: 19 September 2021

Case History—A 34 yr old man presenting with jaundice, lymphadenopathy, sensory symptoms and muscular weakness.

Disorders of peripheral nerve function can be categorized in terms of the site of the primary disturbance. (1) Neuronopathies—conditions that lead to death of the neuron cell body and axon. (2) Axonal neuropathies—conditions that affect axons which may be focal, as in local injury, multifocal, as in vasculitis, or diffuse as in metabolic or toxic disorders often cause selective degeneration of the axons towards the cell bodies (‘dying-back’); (3) Demyelinating neuropathies—conditions in which the myelin sheaths are supporting Schwann cells damaged and the axons are relatively preserved. Combinations of axonal and demyelinating pathology are common. (4) Interstitial neuropathies—conditions in which there is infiltration of the endoneurium for instance by granuloma or amyloid....

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