What is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN), is a group of hereditary disorders that damage the nerves in the arms and legs (peripheral nerves). It affects about 1 in 2,500 people in the U.S. and is named for the three physicians who first identified it.
CMT is caused by inherited mutations in the genes involved with the nerves that serve the limbs. These mutations can prevent the muscles in the limbs from receiving the brain’s signal. It can also prevent the brain from receiving pain signals from the limbs, resulting in numbness or an unnoticed cut or blister.
CMT neuropathy affects both motor and sensory nerves. This results, in part, in the symptoms below.
- Weakness of the legs, ankles and feet
- Difficulty lifting your foot at the ankle (footdrop)
- High arches in the feet
- Muscle atrophy in the legs and feet
- Awkward gait (lifting legs unusually high when taking steps)
- Hammertoes (curled toes)
- Clumsiness (frequently tripping or falling)
- Numbness in the legs and feet
In the beginning stages of the disease, symptoms are usually limited to the legs and feet, but as it progresses, they may begin to affect the arms and hands, as well. The severity of the symptoms can vary greatly from person to person.
There is no cure for CMT, but there are therapies that can help patients cope. Physical and occupational therapy, braces and other orthopedic devices and possibly orthopedic surgery can help with the symptoms. For those with severe pain, painkillers are often prescribed.
At the Magaziner Center, we believe in treating CMT naturally, with the patient’s own stem cells. Using stem cell therapy, we are able to assist and accelerate the body’s natural healing process. There are no side effects and no risk associated with stem cell therapy and many of our patients have found permanent relief and been able to avoid surgery. This treatment is also proven highly effective for those who have already had surgery but are still experiencing pain and other symptoms.