Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of inherited neurological disorders that affect the peripheral nerves, which are the nerves that control the muscles and sensory functions of the limbs. CMT is also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN).
CMT is caused by mutations in genes that affect the structure or function of peripheral nerves. There are several different types of CMT, which can vary in their symptoms and the specific genes involved. However, the most common form of CMT is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting, particularly in the feet, lower legs, hands, and forearms
Decreased sensation in the limbs, particularly in the feet and hands.
Foot deformities such as high arches or hammertoes.
Difficulty with balance and coordination.
Muscle cramping and spasms.
CMT is typically diagnosed based on a combination of clinical symptoms, family history, and genetic testing. There is currently no cure for CMT, but treatment can help to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthotics such as braces or shoe inserts, and medications to manage pain or other symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct foot deformities or other complications of CMT.
Some common treatments for CMT include:
Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve strength, flexibility, and coordination, as well as minimize the risk of falls and improve mobility.
Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy can help individuals with CMT to develop daily living skills and adaptations to manage activities of daily living such as dressing, grooming, and eating.
Orthotic devices: Orthotic devices such as braces, splints, or shoe inserts can help to improve balance, support weak muscles and joints, and prevent deformities.
Medications: Medications may be prescribed to manage pain, muscle spasms, and other symptoms of CMT.