Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of inherited disorders. It affects movement and feeling in the arms and legs. The disease progresses slowly and causes harm to the nerves that control muscles and transmit sensation.
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 while other forms happen when both copies are inherited. Some other forms are inherited due to an abnormal x-linked chromosome.
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Your risk is higher if you have family members with this disease.
Your symptoms depend on the type of CMT you have. Symptoms often start before age 30. The first sign is often a high arched foot or problems walking.
You may also have:
You may be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
You may have nerve and muscle functions tested. This can be done with:
Your doctor may need to test your DNA. This can be done with a blood test.
There is no cure. Treatment may help to reduce symptoms. You may need:
You may need:
There are no known ways to prevent CMT. If you or a family member have CMT or have risk factors, you may want to talk to a genetic counselor to understand the risk of passing on the disease before deciding to have children.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Charcot-Marie- Tooth disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T916934/Charcot-Marie-Tooth-disease . Updated June 19, 2017. Accessed August 17, 2018.
Nave KA, Sereda MW, Ehrenreich H. Mechanisms of disease: Inherited demyelinating neuropathies—from basic to clinical research. Nat Clin Pract Neurol. 2007;3(8):453-464.
Pareyson D. Differential diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and related neuropathies. Neurol Sci. 2004;25(2):72-82.
Reilly MM, Murphy SM, Laurá M. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. J Periph Nerv Syst. 2011;16(1):1-14.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 8/17/2018