Peripheral Neuropathy

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The peripheral nervous system is the connecting nerves from the brain and spinal cord or the central nervous system to the other parts of the body which include the– arms, legs, hands, feet, internal organs, mouth and face. It is also results when the nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and the spinal cord from the rest of the body are damaged or diseased.

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition which arise when these nerves fail on account of being injured or damaged and as a result of which the normal functioning of the nerves gets disturbed and hence may send signals of pain, when in there is no pain or may not send pain signals despite of the enduring pain on account of an injury, systematic illness, an infection or an inherited disorder.

Peripheral neuropathies may exist in numerous forms and patterns that are both; acute as well as chronic. In acute form, the immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system and impair sending or receiving nerve signals. The symptoms are sudden and progress rapidly and slowly subsides as soon as the damaged nerves get healed. Reverse is the case with chronic form as the symptoms are mild and progress slowly, but may also worsen over a period of time. Fortunately, very few forms of peripheral neuropathy are severe and disastrous despite of it being painful and tiresome.

There are 3 types of peripheral nerves – sensory nerves that connect to the skin, motor nerves that connect to the muscles and autonomic nerves that connect to the internal organs which can cause damage to any one nerve or all of them. The symptoms include sharp stabbing pain, tingling/numbness in the hands or feet, freezing or burning pain, lack of co-ordination and falling of things from hand.

The peripheral neuropathy can be divided with regards to their respective symptoms and analysis and also as per the damage caused by the nerves such as – damage to one nerve is called ‘mononeuropathies’, as well as the damaged caused to multiple nerves is called ‘polyneuropathy’. Some of the peripheral neuropathies result because of the injury caused to the axons which is a long threadlike portion of the nerve cell, while the rest are due to the injury to the myelin sheath, a fatty protein coats and insulates the axon, or may be due to the combination of both, axonal damage and demyelination. There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy that include – drugs, diabetes, shingles, kidney failure, vitamin deficiency, injuries, infection, connective tissue disease, inflammatory conditions as well as hereditary disease. In some of the cases, no specific cause is detected for peripheral neuropathy which is known as idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.

There are 3 types of peripheral nerves: sensory nerves that connect to the skin, motor nerves that connect to the muscles and autonomic nerves that connect to the internal organs which can cause damage to any one nerve or all of them. The symptoms include sharp stabbing pain, tingling/numbness in the hands or feet, freezing or burning pain, lack of coordination and falling of things from hand.

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