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Inherited neuropathies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21286948     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Inherited peripheral neuropathies are among the most common hereditary diseases of the nervous system. Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, also known from previous classifications as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN), is certainly the most common inherited neuropathy. In the past several years, various treatments for CMT have been proposed, although specific therapies are not yet available. In clinical practice, rehabilitative strategies remain the most helpful therapeutic approach to these patients. There is still a lack of consensus on the best way to rehabilitate patients affected by CMT. Based on our personal experience and on a review of the literature, we first recommend the prescription of ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) for patients affected by CMT; the choice of which patient, which AFO, and when to apply it depends on the individual condition of each patient and on the experience of the physician/therapist. Second, adaptive equipment (eg, button hook, long-handled shoehorn, elastic shoe laces) is available to compensate for hand deformities, sensory loss, and weakness. Third, moderate to intense strength training and aerobic exercise are well tolerated by patients affected by CMT; further studies are needed to establish whether these approaches are effective in improving their motor function and strength. There is not enough evidence to recommend muscle stretching exercises or proprioceptive kinesiotherapy, although in our experience both approaches may be helpful in selected CMT patients to prevent tendon retractions, muscle tightening, and loss of strength, and to improve balance. There is growing knowledge of the underlying genetic defects and molecular pathophysiology in CMT. To date, only a few clinical trials in CMT patients have been performed. A neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin 3, was used in a small sample of CMT1A patients with promising results, but it has not been tested in a larger cohort and there is currently no reason to suggest this therapy for CMT1A neuropathy. Based on positive results in an animal model of CMT1A, three trials with ascorbic acid (AA) were completed in a large number of patients with this neuropathy, with results that were negative overall. Therefore, it is not possible to recommend the use of AA in CMT1A patients at this time, but the results of a larger Italian-UK study and an American trial with higher doses of AA are still awaited. It is important to remember that a superimposed inflammatory/disimmune process may complicate the course of the neuropathy; in this case, severe worsening (especially motor) in a matter of weeks or months is a "red flag" that should suggest immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory treatment such as steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, or plasma exchange. In fact, steroid-sensitive cases of HMSN were described many years ago, well before the genetic diagnosis was available. Symptomatic treatment to reduce neuropathic and nociceptive pain, both of which have been reported in patients affected by CMT, should be prescribed according to recently published guidelines for the therapy of pain. No evidence suggests any specific surgical intervention or change in diet or lifestyle for patients affected by various types of CMT.
Angelo Schenone; Lucilla Nobbio; Margherita Monti Bragadin; Giulia Ursino; Marina Grandis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current treatment options in neurology     Volume:  13     ISSN:  1534-3138     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Treat Options Neurol     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-03-02     Completed Date:  2011-07-14     Revised Date:  2013-07-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9815940     Medline TA:  Curr Treat Options Neurol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  160-79     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, and Genetics, University of Genoa, Via De Toni 5, 16132, Genova, Italy,
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