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Charcot Marie Tooth disease – Causes and Symptoms of Charcot Marie Tooth disease

Charcot Marie Tooth disease is a group of disorders of the sensory and the motor nerves which leads to the muscle weakness and atrophy and sensory loss. The first signs appear in the distal legs , then it is seen in the hands. In this disorder, the nerve cells are unable to send electrical impulses properly because of the impairment in the nerve axon. This can be an inherited one in an autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X- linked mode of inheritance.

Causes of Charcot Marie Tooth disease
The exact cause of this disease is not known but it is claimed that it is a genetic disorder and in most of the cases it occurs in an individual due to an autosomal dominant condition.but in some it is inherited due to X- linked pattern. This is caused by mutations in genes that produce proteins that help in the function and structure of either the peripheral axon or the myelin sheath. This disease is caused by the slow degeneration of the nerves that results in muscle weakness and atrophy of the legs and hands. The degeneration of the sensory nerves results in a reduced ability to feel heat, cold and pain.

Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Numbness and paining the legs and feet
  • Decreased sensation in the legs and feet
  • Frequent tripping and falling
  • Awkward gait or higher than the normal step
  • Difficulty lifting your foot at the ankle
  • Decreased ability to run
  • Curled up toes
  • High foot arches
  • Loss of muscle bulks
  • Weakness of the legs, ankles and feet
  • As this disease progresses, the symptoms are seen in the thighs, hands and arms.

Though this disease cannot be prevented or cured as it is a congenital disorder, treatment can be given to reduce the symptoms and make the life of a person suffering from this easy.

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