Sunday, August 25, 2013

Peripheral Neuropathy

The term peripheral neuropathy is used to refer to many different types of neuropathy, from those involving only a single nerve, such as Bell’s palsy,
to those producing profound generalized paralysis, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome. There are also many different causes, ranging from heritary neuropathies to toxic ones caused by heavy metal poisoning.
A neuropathy is any abnormal state (pathy) of a nerve or nerves (neuro). The peripheral nerves are those that are outside the central nervous system, running from the brain or spinal cord to our muscles, organs, skin, etc. The peripheral nerves are usually divided into three types; motor nerves which go to muscles and control their contractions, sensory nerves which run from sensory organs to the spinal cord, and autonomic nerves which regulate many of our automatic functions such as controlling blood pressure, movement of the intestines, sweating, etc. A peripheral neuropathy may involve exclusively one type of nerve, or all three.
Some common conditions are actually neuropathies. I mentioned Bell’s palsy above; in addition there is carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when pressure at the wrist causes the nerves running through the wrist not to conduct correctly; trigeminal neuralgia, a painful neuropathy of the nerve going to the face; and shingles, an infection of the nerves by varicella-zoster virus. Some conditions are experienced by many people temporarily — for example, the numbness that can occur in the little finger and side of the hand during sleep when the elbow is bent to its maximum, which stretches the ulnar nerve in the elbow. But when most people, and most doctors, refer to peripheral neuropathy they are talking about numbness, tingling and pain, usually in the feet and legs.
Diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy, as is kidney failure. Maximum control of these underlying diseases may improve the neuropathy. There is an ancient disease, beri-beri, caused by thiamine deficiency, which causes such a neuropathy. No one eating a regular diet will develop beri-beri, and it is therefore seen in this country exclusively in alcoholics. For others, supplementing B complex vitamins will probably not help but won’t hurt, although megadoses should not be taken. (Megadoses of Vitamin B6, pyridoxine, have been shown to cause a neuropathy.)
Some cases of slowly developing neuropathies are hereditary, and usually inherited in a recessive fashion, meaning the parents and siblings will probably not have the disease. A careful family history that includes grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins may give a clue.
Many drugs may cause a neuropathy, including some used in cancer chemotherapy, in the treatment of HIV infection, isoniazid used to treat tuberculosis, and others less commonly used. Severe alcoholism can cause a neuropathy that is not beri-beri and that will not respond to doses of thiamine. Infections that can cause it include HIV, Lyme disease, leprosy, polio, diptheria, and syphilis. Treatment of the underlying infection will often reduce the symptoms of neuropathy.

Email : neuro@trigeminalneuralgia.in

7 comments:

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  2. Multiple options are available for the Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment. Medical treatment includes anticonvulsants such as carbamazipine, oxacarbazepine, clonazepam and gabapentin and antispasmodic agents such as baclofen. These drugs can be given alone or might be given in combination with each other however if medications fails to treat the condition or produce side effects such as fatigue then surgical treatment is recommended the procedures include microvascular decompression in which blood vessels causing problem are relocated or removed and gamma knife radiosurgery in which a focused dose of radiation is used to destroy trigeminal nerve all together at its root.

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  3. Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment more often than not begins with medications, and a few persons needn’t bother with any extra treatment. Be that as it may, after some time, a few individuals with the condition may quit reacting to drugs, or they may encounter upsetting side effects.

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