Peripheral Neuropathy (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Standiford Helm II, MD
Dr. Helm has been practicing interventional pain management since 1982. Dr. Helm is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology with subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine and of the American Board of Pain Medicine. Dr. Helm is a Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP), the only certifying agency which tests the ability to perform interventional pain procedures. Dr. Helm is also an examiner for FIPP.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Peripheral neuropathy facts
- What is peripheral neuropathy?
- What causes peripheral neuropathy?
- What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
- How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?
- Is there any treatment for peripheral neuropathy?
- Can peripheral neuropathy be prevented?
- Find a local Neurologist in your town
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
There are many possible causes of peripheral neuropathy, including:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Shingles (post herpetic neuralgia)
- Vitamin deficiency, particularly B12 and folate
- Autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or Guillain-Barre syndrome
- AIDS, whether from the disease or its treatment, syphilis, and kidney failure
- Inherited disorders, such as amyloid polyneuropathy or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals, gold compounds, lead, arsenic, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides
- Cancer therapy drugs such as vincristine (Oncovin and Vincasar) and other medications, such as antibiotics including metronidazole (Flagyl) and isoniazid
- Rarely, diseases such as neurofibromatosis can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Other rare congenital neuropathies include Fabry disease, Tangier disease, hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy, and hereditary amyloidosis.
- Statin medications have been linked to peripheral neuropathy, although neuropathy caused by statins only rarely causes symptoms.
While diabetes and postherpetic neuralgia are the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy, often times no cause is found. In these situations, it is referred to as idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.
Sometimes, peripheral nerve entrapments, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are considered peripheral neuropathies. In these cases, pressure on the nerve rather than a disease state leads to nerve malfunction.
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