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JAMA Patient Page
March 5, 2008

Peripheral Neuropathy

JAMA. 2008;299(9):1096. doi:10.1001/jama.299.9.1096

Peripheral nerves carry messages from the brain and spinal cord to muscles, organs, and other body tissues. Damage or disease of these nerves are called peripheral neuropathy. Sometimes one nerve or a group of related nerves is involved in neuropathy; in polyneuropathy, multiple nerves are affected in different areas of the body. Because nerves are made up of several different types of nerve fibers affecting sensation, movement, pain transmission, or balance, symptoms and signs are based on the involved type of nerve fiber. The March 5, 2008, issue of JAMA includes an article about neuropathy related to alcohol consumption.

Diabetic neuropathy is the most common type of neuropathy and affects up to two-thirds of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy often involves the feet and legs and is responsible for lack of sensation, ease of injury, and infections.