The peripheral nervous system consists of all the motor and sensory nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy, damage to the peripheral nervous system, often causes numbness, tingling, burning pain and weakness in arms, legs, fingers and/or toes. Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by problems such as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, immune-mediated diseases, and exposure to toxins and radiation. One of the most common causes is diabetes. The four cardinal patterns of peripheral neuropathy are polyneuropathy, mononeuropathy, mononeuritis multiplex and autonomic neuropathy. Symptoms and physical findings associated with peripheral neuropathies vary from person to person, and often can be extremely complex.
At Wesley Peripheral Neuropathy Clinic, Dr. Chai and Dr. Bertorini specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. The diagnosis may require full medical history, complete neurological examination, blood tests, imaging studies, nerve conduction studies (NCS), electromyography (EMG), DNA tests, autonomic function test, skin biopsy for assessing epidermal nerve fiber density, and/or muscle/nerve biopsy. The treatment will incorporate a multidisciplinary approach including pain management, physical therapy, immunotherapy including steroid, immunosuppressants and/or intravenous immunoglobulin infusions.