(Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathies; HMSNs)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of inherited disorders. It harms the nerves that control movement and feeling in the arms and legs. The disease gets worse over time.
CMT can be:
CMT is caused by changes in genes. In most people, the change is inherited. Some forms happen when only one copy of the abnormal gene is inherited. Other forms happen when both copies are inherited. Some other forms are inherited due to an abnormal x-linked chromosome.
The risk of this problem is higher in people who have family members with this disease.
The symptoms a person has depend on the type of CMT. Problems often start before age 30. The first sign is often a high arched foot or problems walking.
Other problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Nerve and muscle function will be tested. This can be done with:
Blood tests may be done to look for genetic problems.
There is no cure. Treatment may help to reduce symptoms. Options are:
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Bird TD. Charcot-Marie-Tooth hereditary neuropathy overview. GeneReviews 2016 Sep 1.
Charcot-Marie- Tooth disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/charcot-marie-tooth-disease. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD