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Peripheral neuropathy polyneuropathy [keywords]
- Painful and Painless Diabetic Neuropathy: One Disease or Two? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Curr Diab Rep 2013 May 16.
Painful diabetic polyneuropathy (PDPN) is generally considered a variant of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) but the identification of distinctive aspects that characterize painful compared with painless DPN has however been addressed in many studies, mainly with the purpose of better understanding the mechanisms of neuropathic pain in the scenario of peripheral nerve damage of DPN, of determining risk markers for pain development, and also of recognizing who might respond to treatments. This review is aimed at examining available literature dealing with the issue of similarities and differences between painful and painless DPN in an attempt to respond to the question of whether painful and painless DPN are the same disease or not and to address the conundrum of why some people develop the insensate variety of DPN whilst others experience distressing pain. Thus, from the perspective of comparing painful with painless forms of DPN, this review considers the clinical correlates of PDPN, its distinctive framework of symptoms, signs, and nerve functional and structural abnormalities, the question of large and small fiber involvement, the peripheral pain mechanisms, the central processing of pain and some new insights into the pathogenesis of pain in peripheral polyneuropathies and PDPN.
- Ultrasound assessment of sural nerve in Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A neuropathy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Neurophysiol 2013 May 10.
OBJECTIVE:Nerve ultrasound (US) has been used to study peripheral nerve disease, and increase of the cross-sectional area (CSA) has been described in demyelinating polyneuropathy. The objective of the current study is to characterise the US features of the sural nerve in a sample of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) 1A patients.
METHODS:A total of 20 CMT1A patients were enrolled. As control group we studied 37 age- and sex-matched subjects. All patients underwent clinical examination, neurophysiology and US evaluation of the bilateral sural nerve and right ulnar nerve. US results were correlated with neurophysiology and clinical data.
RESULTS:Sural nerve CSA was not increased in the majority of patients (70%), whereas an increased ulnar nerve CSA was present in the whole sample. Inverse relations were found between CSA of the ulnar nerve and body mass index (BMI) (p<0.0002, R=-0.8) and CSA of the sural nerve and age (right 0.006, R=-0.6, left 0.002, R=-0.6 and left and right p=0.00003, R=-0.4).
CONCLUSIONS:US showed ulnar CSA enlargement and normal sural nerve CSA.
SIGNIFICANCE:The significance of normal sural nerve CSA in CMT1A patients need to be further investigated, possibly through longitudinal studies.
- Three-dimensional Imaging of Nociceptive Intraepidermal Nerve Fibers in Human Skin Biopsies. [Journal Article]
- J Vis Exp 2013; (74)
A punch biopsy of the skin is commonly used to quantify intraepidermal nerve fiber densities (IENFD) for the diagnosis of peripheral polyneuropathy (1,2). At present, it is common practice to collect 3 mm skin biopsies from the distal leg (DL) and the proximal thigh (PT) for the evaluation of length-dependent polyneuropathies (3). However, due to the multidirectional nature of IENFs, it is challenging to examine overlapping nerve structures through the analysis of two-dimensional (2D) imaging. Alternatively, three-dimensional (3D) imaging could provide a better solution for this dilemma. In the current report, we present methods for applying 3D imaging to study painful neuropathy (PN). In order to identify IENFs, skin samples are processed for immunofluorescent analysis of protein gene product 9.5 (PGP), a pan neuronal marker. At present, it is standard practice to diagnose small fiber neuropathies using IENFD determined by PGP immunohistochemistry using brightfield microscopy (4). In the current study, we applied double immunofluorescent analysis to identify total IENFD, using PGP, and nociceptive IENF, through the use of antibodies that recognize tropomyosin-receptor-kinase A (Trk A), the high affinity receptor for nerve growth factor (5). The advantages of co-staining IENF with PGP and Trk A antibodies benefits the study of PN by clearly staining PGP-positive, nociceptive fibers. These fluorescent signals can be quantified to determine nociceptive IENFD and morphological changes of IENF associated with PN. The fluorescent images are acquired by confocal microscopy and processed for 3D analysis. 3D-imaging provides rotational abilities to further analyze morphological changes associated with PN. Taken together, fluorescent co-staining, confocal imaging, and 3D analysis clearly benefit the study of PN.
- Evaluation of clinical tools and their diagnostic use in distal symmetric polyneuropathy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prim Care Diabetes 2013 May 9.
AIMS:To compare the diagnostic usefulness of tuning fork, monofilament, biothesiometer and skin biopsies in peripheral neuropathy in individuals with varying glucose metabolism.
METHODS:Normoglycaemic, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) individuals were recruited. Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and thermal threshold tests were performed. Vibrotactile sense was tested with a biothesiometer and a 128-Hz tuning fork. Touch/pressure perception was examined with a 10-g monofilament. Skin biopsies were performed and intraepidermal nerve fibres were quantified. Distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSPN) was defined as neuropathy disability score ≥2 and abnormal NCS. Thermal threshold tests were used to define small nerve fibre neuropathy (sDSPN) in cases where NCS (large nerve fibres) were normal.
RESULTS:The prevalence of DSPN and sDSPN in the whole group (n=119) was 18% and 23%, respectively. For the biothesiometer, a cut-off of ≥24.5V had a sensitivity of 82% and specificity of 70% (AUC=0.81, 95% CI 0.71-0.91) when evaluating DSPN. An intraepidermal nerve fibre density cut-off of ≤3.39fibres/mm showed a sensitivity of 74% and specificity of 70% in the detection of sDSPN, whereas the sensitivity of the tuning fork and the biothesiometer were relatively low, 46% and 67%, respectively. When combining skin biopsies with the tuning fork, 10 more sDSPN cases were identified. Adding skin biopsy to the combination of the tuning fork and biothesiometer increased the sensitivity of finding sDSPN cases, but not DSPN, from 81% to 93%.
CONCLUSION:Using a biothesiometer in clinical routine might be a sensitive method to detect large nerve fibre dysfunction in the lower extremity, whereas skin biopsies in combination with methods measuring vibrotactile sense could increase the diagnostic sensitivity of detecting peripheral neuropathy at an early stage.
- The neuropathies of vasculitis. [Journal Article]
- Neurol Clin 2013 May; 31(2):557-95.
Vasculitic neuropathy can occur as an isolated entity (nonsystemic vasculitic neuropathy) but more commonly evolves in the setting of primary systemic vasculitides or secondary vasculitides related to infections, drugs, or connective tissue disorders. Vasculitic neuropathies are usually but not always painful and tend to produce sensory motor or sensory symptoms. Patients with purely motor or small-fiber dysfunction are unlikely to have vasculitis. Deficits are typically multifocal or asymmetric, but distal symmetric polyneuropathy occurs uncommonly. Evaluation requires laboratory tests, electrodiagnostic studies, and nerve or nerve/muscle biopsy. This article reviews classification, clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and management of peripheral nerve vasculitis.
- Cryptogenic sensory polyneuropathy. [Journal Article]
- Neurol Clin 2013 May; 31(2):463-76.
Chronic sensory or sensorimotor polyneuropathy is a common cause for referral to neurologists. Despite extensive diagnostic testing, up to one-third of these patients remain without a known cause, and are referred to as having cryptogenic sensory peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms progress slowly. On examination, there may be additional mild toe flexion and extension weakness. Electrophysiologic testing and histology reveals axonal neuropathy. Prognosis is usually favorable, as most patients maintain independent ambulation. Besides patient education and reassurance, management is focused on pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain and physical therapy for balance training, and, occasionally, assistive devices.
- Diabetic neuropathy part 2: proximal and asymmetric phenotypes. [Journal Article]
- Neurol Clin 2013 May; 31(2):447-62.
Diabetic neuropathies consist of a variety of syndromes resulting from different types of damage to peripheral or cranial nerves. Although distal symmetric polyneuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy, many other subtypes have been defined since the 1800s, including proximal diabetic, truncal, cranial, median, and ulnar neuropathies. Various theories have been proposed for the pathogenesis of these neuropathies. The treatment of most requires tight and stable glycemic control. Spontaneous recovery is seen in most of these conditions with diabetic control. Immunotherapies have been tried in some of these conditions however are controversial.
- Pathophysiology of autoimmune polyneuropathies. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Presse Med 2013 Apr 30.
The most common autoimmune neuropathies include the acute inflammatory polyneuropathy [the Guillain-Barré Syndrome(s)]; chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) and IgM anti-MAG-antibody mediated paraproteinemic neuropathy. These neuropathies occur when immunologic tolerance to peripheral nerve components (myelin, Schwann cell, axon, and motor or ganglionic neurons) is lost. Based on the immunopathologic similarities with experimental allergic neuritis induced after immunization with nerve proteins, disease transfer experiments with the patients' serum or with intraneural injections, and immunocytochemical studies on the patients' nerves, it appears that both cellular and humoral factors, either independently or in concert with each other, play a role in the cause of these neuropathies. Although in some of them there is direct evidence for autoimmune reactivity mediated by specific antibodies or autoreactive T lymphocytes, in others the underlying immune-mediated mechanisms have not been fully elucidated, in spite of good response to immunotherapies. The review highlights the factors associated with breaking the T-cell tolerance, the T-cell activation and costimulatory molecules, the immunoregulatory T-cells and relevant cytokines and the antibodies against peripheral nerve glycolipids or glycoproteins that seem to be of pathogenic relevance. Antigens in the nodal, paranodal and juxtaparanodal regions are discussed as potentially critical targets in explaining conduction failure and rapid recovery. Based on the immunopathologic network believed to play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of these neuropathies, future therapeutic directions are highlighted using new biological agents against T-cells, cytokines, B-cells, transmigration and transduction molecules.
- Motor unit loss and weakness in association with diabetic neuropathy in humans. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Muscle Nerve 2013 Jan 30.
INTRODUCTION:Diabetes mellitus can be associated with peripheral neuropathy which may affect numbers of functioning motor units (MUs) of limb muscles. Direct quantitative assessment of MU numbers and muscle strength have not been performed in humans. We compared the estimated number of MUs of individuals with diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) versus controls.
METHODS:Patients with signs/symptoms of DPN were studied using decomposition-enhanced quantitative electromyography of the tibialis anterior (TA). Motor unit number estimates were derived from this analysis.
RESULTS:Dorsiflexion strength was ∼60% less in DPN than controls (P < 0.05). Additionally, the estimated number of functioning TA MUs was ∼60% fewer in patients with DM (∼46) versus controls (∼111) (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS:These data directly measure MU loss associated with DPN in a proximal muscle in humans. It remains to be determined whether quantifying MU loss has clinical utility in monitoring the progression or management of DPN. Muscle Nerve, 2013.
- Acute polyradiculoneuritis: Guillain-Barré syndrome. [Journal Article]
- Handb Clin Neurol 2013.:1157-62.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute, immune-mediated, postinfectious polyneuropathy with symmetrical ascending weakness, diminished deep tendon reflexes, and nonspecific sensory symptoms. CSF protein is raised with normal or only slightly elevated cell count. Based on electrophysiological and pathological findings, a demyelinating variant (acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, AIDP) and an axonal variant (acute motor axonal neuropathy, AMAN) can be differentiated. Molecular mimicry with common epitopes between infective agents and peripheral nerves is discussed as an important pathophysiological principle. The symptoms progress for a mean of 10 days (up to 4 weeks) and after a plateau of 1-2 weeks remit spontaneously. At the height of the disease 60% of children are unable to walk and 10-15% need artificial ventilation. Treatment with plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) has been proven in placebo-controlled studies in adults with severe disease to speed up recovery significantly. In children, mostly open studies have shown similar treatment effects, although their spontaneous course is frequently less severe. Children with GBS should be treated with IVIG when they have lost the ability to walk, or when they are still deteriorating significantly and are expected to lose the ability to walk. The long-term prognosis is more favorable than that in adults. Whereas 25% of patients maintain mild neurological symptoms and signs, disability in the long term is very rare and usually due to complications such as myelitic involvement or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).