Charcot Marie Tooth Disease

Below you will find more information about Charcot Marie Tooth Disease from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Charcot Marie Tooth Disease it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Charcot Marie Tooth Disease comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

The Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited heterogeneous disease characterized by the death of muscle tissue and loss of touch sensation. It usually attacks the legs and feet but also triggers the arms and hands as the disease progresses. It is also known as Peroneal Muscular Atrophy or Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy, and is incurable at present. The disease is named after scientists who took the effort to do research on it, Jean-Martin Charcot and his student Pierre Marie, as well as Howard Henry Tooth.

Treatment

At present there is no standard treatment for the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, but ascorbic acid has been suggested to help cure the disorder. There has been a clinical trial of using ascorbic acid on CMT patients, and high doses of Vitamin C have been used on the said patients, but not all of them are expected to respond positively to the treatment.

Symptoms and Signs

Persons with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease usually experience symptoms during adolescence or late childhood. One of the earliest signs of the disease is foot drop, which is caused by the peroneal nerve, one of the affected nerves at the onset of the disease. Claw toes or curled toes may as well be observed, and legs begin to appear like those of a stork or an inverted bottle. Sometimes the person may feel extreme weakness in the arms and hands as well. As the disease progresses, the patient may experience breathing difficulties as well as hearing impairments, loss of vision, stiff neck and pain in the shoulders. Scoliosis begins to develop as well as the malformation of the hip sockets. The patient may also suffer from gastrointestinal problems like chewing, and swallowing. The vocal chords may be affected and start to atrophy. The Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is further exacerbated by pregnancy and emotional stress thus patients with the disease should avoid being in the said conditions. Also, the chemical substance vincristine, which is used for chemotherapy, has been proven to be hazardous and should not be taken by CMT patients.

Causes

The Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is caused by the lack of appropriate proteins which are needed by the nerves to function normally. The absence of this substances lead to dysfunctions in the other parts of the nerve cell such as the axon and myelin. Disrupted myelin production affects the whole behavior of the cell causing mitochondrion clots in the nerve cells, leading to failed synapses establishing the onset of the disease.

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