23rd February 2021 by Dr.Manvir Bhatia & Saunri

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathies

Genetic Causes: Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disorder and Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) are some the genetic causes of Peripheral Neuropathies. Recently, a study published Neurology Genetics in 2020 found that a mutation in the dystonin (DST) gene affected two proteins that are involved in nerve fibre function which is the cause of a type of CMT called CMT-2.

Metabolic Causes: Diabetes is the leading cause of Peripheral Neuropathy worldwide. In 2018, a study published in Journal of Diabetes and its Complications found that increased glucose lead to production of increased ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) which in turn activated MMP-13 (Matrix Metalloprotein 13) that lead to nerve damage. The study also found that treatment with antioxidant N-acetylcysteine and MMP-13 inhibitor helped to reverse the effects of the neuropathy.

Autoimmune Causes: Conditions such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (AIDP), Lupus etc, are some of the autoimmune conditions that cause Peripheral Neuropathies.

Exposure to Heavy Metals: Exposure to heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, etc, especially by people working in mines, and lead containing industries are at a higher risk of developing peripheral neuropathy.

Other conditions such as exposure to toxins, alcohol, vitamin deficiency, infections with certain bacteria and viruses and cancer can cause peripheral neuropathy.

Treatment Options for Peripheral Neuropathies

Traditionally, peripheral neuropathies caused by autoimmune conditions have been treated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants or with plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin therapies. Symptoms such as pain and tingling are treated with creams containing Capsaicin. Gluten free diets may also be recommended to some to reduce pain. Exercise Therapy has also shown to be an efficient contributor to the treatment of various kinds of peripheral neuropathies.  Exercise and physical therapy increase blood flow in peripheral regions and improve circulation which is an important contributing factor to prevent the damage to nerves. A study conducted on mice in 2019 in Journal of Experimental Medicine showed that gene therapy to block the activity of SARM1 gene could prevent complete axon damage in case of nerve injury.

In conclusion, based on the type of neuropathy, specific treatment options are chosen. New research and developments have shown a positive result for the successful treatment of Peripheral Neuropathies.

To seek help or know more about Peripheral Neuropathy, you can visit the Neurology and Sleep Centre, the 1st sleep centre in the country accredited by Indian Board of Sleep Medicine at L-23, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi-110016 (INDIA)

Or give a call on +91-11-46070321, +91-9643500270,

Causes of peripheral neuropathy can be genetic, metabolic, or autoimmune.

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