New York, NY (PRWEB) May 16, 2013
Continued lack of peripheral neuropathy awareness combined with Medicare reimbursement cuts for diagnostic tools are causing major impediments to neuropathy epidemic prevention, patient care, and treatments according to The Neuropathy Association and the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation. The two organizations are using national Neuropathy Awareness Week (May 13-17) to highlight the diagnostic challenges facing patients with all forms of peripheral neuropathy, which have no disease-modifying treatments or cures. Early and appropriate neuropathy diagnosis is key to prevention and providing symptom management to restore quality of life and stem neuropathy's progression.
Peripheral neuropathy, or “peripheral nerve damage,” impacts well over 20 million Americans (at least 1 in 15), making it one of the most common chronic diseases and a leading cause of adult disability. Neuropathy disrupts the body’s ability to communicate with its muscles, organs, and tissues. Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), a hereditary group of neurodegenerative conditions degrading the nerves in the hands, arms, feet, and legs with crippling results, usually begins in childhood and impacts over 150,000 Americans.
Of the over 100 known types of neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy represents over a third of all neuropathies, making diabetes the leading cause. A third of neuropathies are “idiopathic” (unknown cause). Other neuropathies include hereditary, autoimmune-related, cancer or chemotherapy-related, entrapment or trauma-related, and neuropathies due to causes such as toxin-induced, nutritional deficiencies, gastro-intestinal disorders, metabolic diseases, or infectious diseases (including Lyme and HIV/AIDS).
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