There are several diseases that are common yet what most people know about them are next to nothing. You will only learn about that certain condition once you have been diagnosed with it. One of these diseases is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. It may not be as common as flu and fever but it is worth knowing about.

Charcot Marie Tooth or CMT disease is a neurologic disorder that is hereditary and is actually very common. The name was taken after the doctors who first discovered this disorder back in 1886. Doctor Jean Marie Charcot and one of his students Pierre Marie, both from France wrote the first publication about this disease describing it as muscle weakness that begins in the legs and calling it peroneal muscular atrophy. Howard Tooth also described this in his dissertation in Cambridge with the same description but he called it progressive muscular atrophy.

The manifestations of Charcot Marie Tooth disease are usually seen during late childhood or at the early adulthood stage. For some, they will not experience any symptoms at all until they are in their early thirties or forties. Foot drop is one of the earliest symptoms, causing claw toe wherein the toes are always curled. Since the muscle wasting begins at the lower legs, a person with CMT disease will have an inverted bottle appearance or also referred to as stork leg. During the course of the disease, the muscle weakness will progress to the arms and the upper part of the body. There can be difficulty of breathing and impairments in the vision and hearing as well as decrease in function of the muscles in the shoulders and the neck. There can also be gastrointestinal manifestations such as problems with swallowing and chewing. In CMT, neuropathic pain is one of the most common symptoms usually experienced by every CMT patient. The pain can be incapacitating and will cause some problems with your daily activities.

There is no known cure for CMT, despite the number of researches and studies that are being done about it. Physical and occupational therapy are of utmost importance however, since these will definitely help a lot in the improvement of life’s quality for a CMT patient. These are needed to maintain the strength and flexibility of the muscles, therefore delaying the progress of the muscle weakness. Braces are also used, specifically the ankle-foot-orthoses which help in controlling the foot drop and the instability of the ankles, thereby providing improved balance. There should also be proper footwear such that accidents are avoided.

While it is true that there is no treatment for Charcot Marie Tooth disease, early detection will help a lot such that the signs and symptoms will be controlled during the early stages. The disease progress can be controlled, especially the muscle weakness. Knowledge about the signs and symptoms will help a lot so that when you experience them or you observe these signs and symptoms in anyone you know, you will be able to get help immediately.

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For more information on Different Types of Diseases, Symptoms and Diagnoses, Please visit: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease and ALS Disease.