What Is Demyelinating Neuropathy?

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Demyelinating neuropathy, also called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, is a progressive neurological disorder. It is an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system and closely resembles Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The Facts

Demyelinating neuropathy is a condition caused by damage to the myelin sheath that wraps around nerve fibers. It is more common in men than women and usually affects young adults, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Symptoms

Symptoms include weakness and numbness, which usually begins in the fingers and toes. You may experience fatigue and loss of reflexes.

Treatment

Corticosteroids may be prescribed by themselves or in combination with immunosuppressant drugs. Plasma exchange and IV immunoglobulin therapy may be beneficial. Physical therapy may help improve muscle strength and mobililty.

Prognosis

The prognosis for this disease is unpredictable. Some people have a spontaneous recovery, while others experience partial recovery between relapses.

Considerations

As in other autoimmune diseases, CIDP may follow a pattern of relapses and remissions, during which symptoms may or may not get worse. This pattern varies greatly from one person to the next, and it is impossible to know for sure what path the disease is going to take.

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