Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is the result of damage to your peripheral nerves. Some neuropathies such as Guillain-Barre syndrome can be acute and severe, requiring urgent diagnosis and treatment.

Neurological evaluation of peripheral neuropathy starts with a history and neurological exam and often includes testing to determine the type and severity of the neuropathy as well as an evaluation for possible causes of neuropathy. An EMG (electromyogram) and nerve conduction study may be performed to further evaluate the neuropathy. Treatments are often prescribed both for the underlying cause of the neuropathy as well as for symptoms produced by the neuropathy.

Risk Factors

Diabetes

  • Nerve compression (such as in carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Toxic exposure
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Heredity

Symptoms

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Pain
  • Weakness often in the feet and hands
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of coordination
  • Burning sensation

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