What is it?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (also called CMT) is not a single disease but a group of nerve disorders that affect movement and sensation in the arms and legs. These disorders are grouped together because they run in families and have similar symptoms. The different types of CMT are caused by different problems in many different genes.

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Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease may include:
- Weakness in your legs, ankles and feet
- Loss of muscle volume in your legs and feet
- High foot arches
- Curled toes (hammertoes)
- Decreased ability to run
- Difficulty lifting your foot at the ankle (foot drop)
- Awkward or higher than normal step (gait)
- Frequent tripping or falling
- Decreased sensation or a loss of feeling in your legs and feet

As Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease progresses, symptoms may spread from the feet and legs to the hands and arms. The severity of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, even among family members.

Diagnosis

If you develop symptoms of CMT, you will be asked about the nature of your symptoms and you will be physically examined. You may also need to perform a few tests:
- Blood tests – These tests are used to check for the genes that cause CMT.
- Nerve conduction studies or electromyography – These tests measure how well electrical signals travel across the nerves that control the arms or legs. They can also show whether the muscles respond to electrical signals from the nerves the way they should.

Treatment

There's no cure for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), but therapies are available to help reduce your symptoms and enable you to live as independently as possible.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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