Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of genetic disorders that affects movement and feeling in the limbs. The disease progresses slowly and causes damage to the peripheral nerves. These nerves control muscles and transmit sensation.
CMT is caused by defects in specific genes, called a genetic mutation.
CMT can be classified in a number of ways:
Usually, symptoms first appear in children and young adults. The first sign of CMT is often a high arched foot or difficulty walking. Other symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Although there is no cure for CMT, treatment may help to improve function, coordination, and mobility. Treatment is also vital to protect against injury due to muscle weakness and reduced sensation. Treatment may include:
There are no known ways to prevent CMT. If you have CMT or have risk factors, you may want to talk to a genetic counselor before deciding to have children.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
About Kids Health
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Last reviewed September 2012 by Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 2/1/2013
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