Time to Update your Facebook photo for National CMT Awareness Month

September is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Awareness Month. Help spread the word by changing your Facebook profile picture and any social media avatar to our poster.

CMT Awareness Month poster

Funny Name……Serious Disorder 

 by Melinda Lang

September is National Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT) Awareness Month. Whenever I answer the question of “What’s wrong with you?”- with I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, the response is, usually: “Shark teeth. What? followed by: “What’s wrong with your teeth?”

CMT, a genetic peripheral neuropathy, leads to the loss of normal function of arms, legs hands & feet, due to nerve damage and muscle wasting. CMT affects approximately 1 out of 2,500 people or around 150,000 Americans, yet most people and many doctors are unfamiliar with it.

Hence the need for Awareness Month.

What is CMT?

Symptoms:

  • weakness & muscle wasting in the extremities

  • foot drop

  • loss of balance

  • hammer toes

  • high arches or flat feet

  • muscle cramping

  • loss of some reflexes

  • loss of sensory nerve function

  • bone abnormalities

  • curvature of the spine

  • rarely difficulty breathing


Diagnosis:

  • family history and neurological exam- CMT is primarily hereditary with the most common forms of CMT inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. However, spontaneous mutations resulting in “de novo” cases do occur.

  • nerve conduction velocity test (NCV) – delayed responses signified demyelination (type 1) and reduced responses indicates axonopathy (type 2).

  • electromyogram (EMG) to measure the electrical signals’ strength in the muscles of the arms or legs.

  • genetic testing– currently, 22 types can be identified by DNA blood testing: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1X, 2A, 2B, 2E, 2F, 2I, 2J, 2K, 4A, 4C, 4E, 4F, 4J, HNPP, CHN, and DSN.

  •    For more information visit: http://www.athenadiagnostics.com/content/test-catalog/

  • If all the diagnostic work-up is inconclusive or genetic testing comes back negative,  a nerve biopsy may confirm the diagnosis


Treatments:

  • there is no cure or medication for CMT

  • physical therapy

  • occupational therapy

  • braces, AFO’s

  • orthopedic surgery

  • pain medications

For more information: www.cmtausa.org

Resources: www.cmtausa.org
www.ninds.nih.gov
 www.athenadiagnostics.com
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This entry was posted in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, CMTA, Health CMT, neurological exam, Neurologist, neuromuscular disease, peripheral neuropathy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time to Update your Facebook photo for National CMT Awareness Month

  1. Pingback: Royal Pains gives me a royal pain | Living Well with CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth) Disorder

  2. Pingback: Have Fun with the CMTA’s Letter Campaign | Living Well with CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth) Disorder

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