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:
Type 1—This type affects the coating of the nerve called the myelin sheath, causing nerve impulses to travel more slowly. It usually happens to children and teens. It is the most common type of CMT.
Type 2—This type affects the part of the nerve called the axons. The speed of the nerves is normal, but the size or amount of impulses is less than normal. This type of CMT is less common. It happens after the teen years.
Type 3—Also called Dejerine-Sottas disease, this is a rare, severe form of CMT. It is sometimes thought to be a subtype of CMT Type 1.
Type 4—This is like Type 1, but often less severe. If you have it, you are less likely to pass it on to your children.
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.
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:
Physical and occupational therapy
Braces on the lower legs
Shoe inserts to correct foot deformity
Foot care and routine exams with a foot specialist
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.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.