Hereditary neuropathies are a group of inherited disorders that have adverse effects on the peripheral nervous system. They consist of four categories: hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, hereditary sensory neuropathy, hereditary motor neuropathy, and hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy

Symptoms can vary from person to person, and some neuropathies can cause deformities of the feet, toes, calf muscles or spine.

What are the symptoms of hereditary neuropathies?

Symptoms can be sensory- and/or motor-related. Common sensory symptoms include numbness, tingling and pain in the feet and hands. Motor symptoms, meanwhile, are characterized by a weakening or loss of muscles, especially in the lower legs and feet. The most common hereditary neuropathy is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which includes both sensory and motor symptoms. The onset of symptoms can occur at any point in life, including at birth or during adulthood.

What causes hereditary neuropathies?

A child can develop a hereditary neuropathy from genes inherited from one of their parents. Typically, this occurs as the result of autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked manner inheritance.

Although hereditary neuropathies are inherited, not every child of a set of parents in which one parent carries a gene for a hereditary neuropathy will develop symptoms of that hereditary neuropathy. In some cases, only one child in a family will experience such symptoms.

Are treatments available for hereditary neuropathies?

There is no specific cure for hereditary neuropathies. However, they are not usually fatal, and less severe forms are manageable with medications. Those with severe symptoms may require surgery or braces to support mobility. Genetic counseling can be helpful to anyone with a hereditary neuropathy to understand both their symptoms and prognosis.

Request an Appointment

Schedule by Phone

Call: 888-554-2080

Schedule Online

Request an Appointment