CMT causes slow degeneration of the peripheral nerves including feet, legs, arms and hands. Typically muscles are weakened due to the loss of stimulation by affected nerves.
The severity of the disease can vary a great deal from person to person, even within the same family. The symptoms are also varied.
Types of CMT
There are over 50 types of CMT with no known cure for CMT at this point in time. However, significant research is being done in Australia and overseas to find one.
- CMT Type 1A (PMP 22 gene)
- CMT Type 1B
- CMT Type 2 CMT
- Type 2A
- CMT X Linked
A common symptom of CMT is weakness in leg muscles which affects your co-ordination and balance in such things as walking, running, walking up or down stairs, walking on uneven ground, standing still, or standing for long periods of time.
Other symptoms which may affect CMT patients include: tremors, fatigue and diminishing fine motor skills.
Foot abnormalities such as high arched feet, or in some cases flat feet, weak ankles and tendon tightening, pose the most serious problems.
Sometimes patients may need to wear foot orthoses, or braces, or undergo surgery.
Hand Function Abnormalities
Even the simplest things, functions we take for granted, like unscrewing a bottle top, fastening buttons, turning on a tap, or opening a door handle, can pose problems for those with muscle wastage in the hands.
Untidy hand writing due to not having control over the muscles and nerves in the hands and fingers can pose a big problem for both children and adults.