The MIT Braintrust Center for Neurological Disorder Information

Peripheral Neuropathies

Peripheral neuropathies include several types of problems associated with nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. These problems can cause pain, tingling, hypersensitivity, or numbness in the arms or legs. Diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy, although Lyme disease, HIV, alcoholism have been associated with the disease, along with mechanical pressure (compression or entrapment), direct trauma, penetrating injuries, contusions, fractures or dislocated bones, pressure involving the superficial nerves (ulna, radial, or peroneal) which can result from prolonged use of crutches or staying in one position for too long, isolated positioning from a tumor, intraneural hemorrhage, exposure to cold or radiation, and vascular or collagen disorders such as atherosclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and polyarteritis nodosa.

 Part 1: General Information
 Part 2: Self-Help
 Part 3: Further Information

I. General Information

Common symptoms of the disease include weakness, numbness, paresthesia (abnormal sensations such as burning, tickling, pricking or tingling) and pain in the arms, hands, legs and/or feet. Many cases have no known cause, and thus physicians prescribe any number of different therapies to patients suffering from peripheral neuropathies. Patients experiencing peripheral neuropathy as a result of diabetes can often alleviate their condition by controlling the diabetes. When a tumor or ruptured disc causes neuropathy, therapy may require surgery to remove the tumor or to repair the ruptured disc. In many other cases, peripheral neuropathies can be interdicted through therapy for some other disease.

II. Self-help

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY; Managing the pain, frustration:

Webforum to discuss and comment on Peripheral Neuropathy:

A "Simple Facts Sheet" from the AIDS Treatment Data Network:

Lymphoma Information Network:

Citation in the medical reference library:

                    Peripheral Neuropathy Association
                    60 East 42nd Street
                    Suite 942
                    New York, NY 10165
                    (800) 247-6968

                    American Chronic Pain Association
                    P.O. Box 850
                    Rocklin, CA 95677
                    (916) 632-0922

                    National Chronic Pain Outreach Association, Inc.
                    P.O. Box 274
                    Millboro, VA 24460
                    (540) 997-5004

                    Information on Diabetic Neuropathy Is Available from the
                    Following Source:

                    National Institute Of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
                    Building 31, Room 9A04
                    Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
                    (301) 496-3583

III. Further Information

                    Asbury, A, et al (eds). Diseases of the Nervous System -- Clinical
                    Neurobiology, vol. 1, 2nd edition, W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, pp.
                    252-269 (1992).

                    Dyck, P, and Thomas, P, (eds). Peripheral Neuropathy, vol. 2, 3rd
                    edition, W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia (1992).

                    Hallett, M, Tandon, D, and Berardelli, A. "Treatment of Peripheral
                    Neuropathies." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry,
                    48; 1193-1207 (1985).

 MIT Braintrust Center for Neurological Disorder Information