Major Clinical features of polyneuropathies – Peripheral neuropathy

In this informative article, we will try to point out the major clinical features of poly neuropathies. First we will explain what neuropathy is and in the end we will list the major clinical features associated with polyneuropathies.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy refers to anything that damages the nerves. It means damage to one or more nerves. The dysfunction of the nerves involved will manifest as various symptoms. These symptoms vary depending upon the nerves involved.

What is meant by polyneuropathy?

Polyneuropathy simply means any pathological process or condition that involves more than one nerve.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

General symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Numbness in area supplied by sensory nerve
  • Tingling sensation in the affected area supplied by involved nerve
  • Muscles weakness in affected area

What is meant by Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neurons mean nerves which are outside the brain and spinal cord. Remember that we have two nervous systems, Central Nervous system and Peripheral Nervous system.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can vary depending upon the nerves involved, few common ones are:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Pain

This is usually seen in feet and hands, but can occur in any other part of the body too.

Clinical features of Poly Neuropathy

Now as we understand what neuropathy is, let’s come to the original topic, what are the clinical features of Poly Neuropathy.

Here are some of the symptoms associated with polyneuropathy:

  • Symmetrical distal weakness and wasting
  • Symmetrical distal sensory impairment
  • Loss of tendon reflexes
    • Generalised loss in demyelinating neuropathies
    • Distal loss in axonal (dying back) neuropathies
  • Tremor of outstretched fingers in chronic neuropathies
  • Pes cavus in early-onset, familial neuropathies
  • Enlargement of peripheral nerves in chronic demyelinating neuropathies, and in leprosy (Hansen’s disease)
  • Distal burning pain in small fibre neuropathies, e.g. diabetes mellitus

These are the major clinical findings in a patient with poly neuropathies.

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