Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, hereditary causes, and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes. People with peripheral neuropathy usually describe pain as throbbing, burning, or tingling. There are many causes of neuropathy.
Diabetes is the number one cause in the United States. Other common causes include trauma, chemotherapy, alcoholism, and autoimmune diseases. Idiopathic Neuropathy The second largest group of neuropathy patients are those for whom no cause has been identified 23 percent and therefore their condition is known as idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. If the underlying cause of neuropathy cannot be treated, the goal is to control the symptoms of neuropathy and improve your quality of life.
Especially in cases where diabetes is the cause, sensory neuropathy can also lead to foot and leg ulcers, infections and gangrene. If neuropathy is caused by a treatable condition, managing the condition may cause the neuropathy to stop or prevent it from getting worse. People with neuropathy should ask their doctors to minimize the use of medications that are known to cause or worsen neuropathy when alternatives are available. NINDS-funded research ranges from clinical studies of the genetics and natural history of hereditary neuropathies to discoveries of new causes and treatments for neuropathy, to basic scientific research on the biological mechanisms responsible for chronic neuropathic pain.
If the underlying cause of neuropathy can be treated and cured (such as neuropathy caused by vitamin deficiency), neuropathy may also be reversed. FNF raises awareness not only about neuropathy, but also about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and other hereditary neuropathies. The Inherited Neuropathies Consortium (INC), a group of academic medical centers, patient support organizations, and clinical research resources dedicated to conducting clinical research on Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and improving care for people with the disease, seeks to better characterize the natural background study of several different forms of neuropathy and identify genes that modify the clinical characteristics of these disorders. Understanding the causes of neuropathy provides the basis for finding effective prevention and treatment strategies.