A condition seen primarily in childhood, most often resulting from chronic exposure to mercury compounds which may result in encephalopathy and polyneuropathy.
A hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy transmitted most often as an autosomal dominant trait and characterized by progressive distal wasting and loss of reflexes in the muscles of the legs (and occasionally involving the arms).
A syndrome characterized by indifference to pain despite the ability to distinguish noxious from nonnoxious stimuli.
Diabetic neuropathy, a nerve disorder caused by diabetes, is characterized by a loss or reduction of sensation in the feet, and in some cases the hands, and pain and weakness in the feet.
HNPP is a slowly progressive, hereditary, neuromuscular disorder which makes an individual very susceptible to nerve injury from pressure, stretch or repetitive use.
Neuralgias are disorders of the cranial nerves which result in intensely painful episodes for those affected. Neuralgias are associated with all of the cranial nerves: trigeminal neuralgia in the facial area, glossopharyngeal neuralgia in the throat, occipital neuralgia in the rear and side of the head, geniculate neuralgia in the ear, vegal neuralgia in the jaw, etc.
Shingles, or post-herpetic neuralgia, can occur lower on the body (the ribcage, for instance), and is also accompanied by intense pain. This condition has led to the suggestion that the cranial neuralgias might be associated with herpes simplex infections of the nerves.
Neuralgias are extremely painful; trigeminal neuralgia (tic doloroux) is thought to be the most painful condition known. Fortunately, there are avenues of treatment available. The most common drug treatment is carbamazepine (tegretol). Neurontin is also used. In cases where this does not work, and breakthrough pain cannot be controlled, microsurgery can be performed. Nerve blocks may be administered, microdecompression, or even neurotomy. There are alternative medicine treatments as well, including lidocaine and vitamin B-12.
There are several support groups for sufferers of the various neuralgias. The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association maintains a network of support groups around the world.
POEMS syndrome is an extremely rare multisystem disorder. POEMS is an acronym that stands for (P)olyneuropathy, disease affecting many nerves; (O)rganomegaly, abnormal enlargement of an organ; (E)ndocrinoapthy, disease affecting certain hormone-producing glands that help to regulate the rate of growth, sexual development, and certain metabolic functions (endocrine system); (M)onoclonal gammopathy or M proteins; and (S)kin defects.