About Neuropathy and Sensation

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight.


What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy, also called distal symmetric neuropathy or sensorimotor neuropathy, is nerve damage in the arms and legs.


Diabetic Neuropathy

 

Feet and legs are likely to be affected before hands and arms. Many people with diabetes have signs of neuropathy that a doctor could note but feel no symptoms themselves. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include

• numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature
• a tingling, burning, or prickling sensation
• sharp pains or cramps
• extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch
• loss of balance and coordination

These symptoms are often worse at night.

DiabaSens WORKS?

Peripheral neuropathy may also cause muscle weakness and loss of reflexes, especially at the ankle, leading to changes in the way a person walks. Foot deformities, such as hammertoes and the collapse of the midfoot, may occur. Blisters and sores may appear on numb areas of the foot because pressure or injury goes unnoticed. If an infection occurs and is not treated promptly, the infection may spread to the bone, and the foot may then have to be amputated. Many amputations are preventable if minor problems are caught and treated in time.

  WHY DiabaSens

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis commonly called MS, attacks the central nervous system and can cause significant nerve damage. The progression and severity of the disease varies greatly between individuals and it can result in a wide variety of effects, from mild to severe and disabling. These include muscle weakness, loss of balance, inability to walk, and paralysis. The causes of multiple sclerosis are not well understood. Researchers believe that the body's immune system begins to attack its own nervous system, specifically the myelin, a fatty material that covers and insulates the nerve cells in the central nervous system. Healthy myelin is vital to the normal, rapid movement of electrical impulses through the nerve pathways. In multiple sclerosis, patches of myelin in the brain and spinal cord become inflamed, swell, and develop lesions. Myelin and nerve cells become damaged, which wreak havoc with the normal transmission of electrical impulses. It is believed that this process may be triggered by a combination of genetic factors and environmental elements, such as exposure to a virus or some infections. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary greatly between individuals. In the early stages of the disease, symptoms come and go, and people with multiple sclerosis can experience periods of remission, in which symptoms disappear and periods of relapse, in which symptoms reappear. Symptoms may worsen during relapses and complications can include seizures, changes in mentation, muscle spasms, and depression. Symptoms generally first appear between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Most often, the first symptom is visual changes. ~40% of all MS patients develop neuropathy (Martinelli Boneschi F et al. Mult. Scler. 2008 May;14(4):514-21) (~1 million patient worldwide)

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is an abnormal condition in which the peripheral nerves are damaged. The peripheral nerves spread out from the brain and spinal cord, and peripheral neuropathy results in unusual or abnormal sensations of the extremities including the hands and feet. Peripheral neuropathy is a common condition and can result from certain metabolic disorders, infections, malignancy, inflammation, vitamin deficiencies, toxins, inherited conditions, and other abnormal processes. A very common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include alcoholism, vasculitis, vitamin B deficiency, vitamin E deficiency, chemotherapy, and exposure to certain toxins, such as insecticides, lead, mercury, and arsenic. Peripheral neuropathy generally develops slowly over a period of months. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include a sensation of pain, numbness, tingling, or prickling that begins in the feet. In later stages of peripheral neuropathy.



Aging

With aging skin will become thicker due to friction and other physical contact. Thickening of the skin results from an increase in keratin production, which reduces sensation. Consistent with other sensory modalities, numerous age-related anatomical and functional changes have been documented in humans for the somatosensory systems. For example, peripheral nerves show a reduction of myelinated and unmyelinated fibers as well as signs of damage. The number and size of sensory neurons in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) also increases throughout early adulthood, peaks at mid-life (13–18 months) and then decreases thereafter. Age-related reduction in the number of peripheral afferents, the presence of demyelination together with increasing inflammation are strikingly similar to the pathological changes that occur following nerve and tissue injury in younger animals. It is therefore suggested that there may be mechanistic similarities between the pathophysiological changes underlying the emergence of neuropathic pain and those associated with age-related changes in nociception.