Home > Health A – Z > Neuropathy

Neuropathy

A nerve problem that causes pain, numbness, tingling, swelling, or muscle weakness in different parts of the body. It usually begins in the hands or feet and gets worse over time. Neuropathy may be caused by physical injury, infection, toxic substances, disease (such as cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, or malnutrition), or drugs, including anticancer drugs.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Exercise for treating people with diseases of their peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy)

Peripheral neuropathies are a wide range of diseases (both genetic and acquired) affecting the peripheral nerves. Symptoms can include pain, altered sensation such as tingling or numbness, muscle weakness and fatigue. Exercise therapy, with a view to improving strength and stamina, forms part of many rehabilitation programmes after a peripheral neuropathy. This review found inadequate evidence from randomised controlled trials to evaluate the effect of exercise in disability in peripheral neuropathy. There was evidence that strengthening exercises moderately improve muscle strength in people with a peripheral neuropathy.

Surgery for the treatment of traumatic optic neuropathy

The optic nerve transmits visual information from the eye to the brain and traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) refers to any injury to the optic nerve secondary to trauma. After the optic nerve has been injured, it becomes more swollen and this can lead to further damage. Traumatic optic neuropathy often results in severe visual loss and the vast majority of affected patients are young males in their thirties. Surgery has been used in TON to try and reduce this abnormal swelling or remove bone fragments. There are currently no good quality studies that show greater visual improvement following surgery compared to no treatment. Surgery carries a definite risk of complications which must be considered.

Treatments that suppress or modify the immune system for multifocal motor neuropathy

We reviewed the evidence for the benefits and harms of treatments that suppress or modify the immune system in multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN).

See all (333)

Summaries for consumers

Exercise for treating people with diseases of their peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy)

Peripheral neuropathies are a wide range of diseases (both genetic and acquired) affecting the peripheral nerves. Symptoms can include pain, altered sensation such as tingling or numbness, muscle weakness and fatigue. Exercise therapy, with a view to improving strength and stamina, forms part of many rehabilitation programmes after a peripheral neuropathy. This review found inadequate evidence from randomised controlled trials to evaluate the effect of exercise in disability in peripheral neuropathy. There was evidence that strengthening exercises moderately improve muscle strength in people with a peripheral neuropathy.

Surgery for the treatment of traumatic optic neuropathy

The optic nerve transmits visual information from the eye to the brain and traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) refers to any injury to the optic nerve secondary to trauma. After the optic nerve has been injured, it becomes more swollen and this can lead to further damage. Traumatic optic neuropathy often results in severe visual loss and the vast majority of affected patients are young males in their thirties. Surgery has been used in TON to try and reduce this abnormal swelling or remove bone fragments. There are currently no good quality studies that show greater visual improvement following surgery compared to no treatment. Surgery carries a definite risk of complications which must be considered.

Treatments that suppress or modify the immune system for multifocal motor neuropathy

We reviewed the evidence for the benefits and harms of treatments that suppress or modify the immune system in multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN).

See all (75)

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...