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CMT Awareness Month - What is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease?

Friday, September 16th, 2016 | Blog
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It's currently Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) awareness month, and we thought it would be a great idea to shed some light on the condition which few people have heard of. It’s not as commonly known as other degenerative diseases, but there are 1 in 2,500 people suffering from it in America and 1 in 25,000 living with it in the UK.

 

CMT is part of the hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies characterised by muscle loss. The disease is caused by faulty genes inherited from parents, there are over 40 different genes linked to CMT. When the body starts producing too many of one of of these genes, they start to clot, making it harder for nerve impulses to travel down the synapses. The central nervous system controls our muscles, so when it starts to fail the result is muscle loss.

 

 

Those living with CMT have to live with it for the rest of their lives. To make matters worse it is a degenerative disease; getting worse the older sufferers get. It doesn’t cause death, but it does make life very uncomfortable for those living it. CMT symptoms can appear at any time and the disease is not linked to any particular age - because of this though, those that have CMT vary greatly from person-to-person.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease was discovered in 1886 by Jean-Martin Charcot, Pierre Marie, and Henry Tooth. Since the discovery of the disease, scientists have discovered how to better manage its symptoms, but we are no closer to finding a cure for it. The disease is often managed through physical therapy and sometimes surgery, and although this helps improve the sufferers’ quality of life, it doesn’t cure the disease.

 

If you want to find out more about CMT why not visit http://cmt.org.uk/



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