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March 1969

Temperature-Linked Sensory Loss: A Unique Pattern in Leprosy

Author Affiliations

Carville, La
From the Rehabilitation Branch, US Public Health Service Hospital, Carville, La, and the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

Arch Neurol. 1969;20(3):257-262. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480090045006

IN VIEW of the estimated 10 million1 cases of leprosy in the world, and the virtually constant involvement of nerves, this disorder must be considered a most common disease of the peripheral nervous system. The cutaneous manifestations of the disease are variegated and well studied, but it is the involvement of the nervous system that results in the severe disabilities characterizing Hansen's disease. The motor deficits have been well described and are clearly related to a rather constant involvement of particular segments of certain nerve trunks.2 Many of the resulting paralyses can be helped through tendon transfer surgery. Thus a hand may be returned to quite useful motor function, but sensory loss remains the immutable liability. With insensitive skin many of the activities of daily living may result in devastating trauma.

The pattern of sensory loss in lepromatous leprosy has been described as either diffuse "stocking-glove" type

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