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Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) is a genetic disease of the nerves characterised by progressive muscle weakness, particularly of the extremities such as fingers, hands, toes and feet. At Liverpool Neuro Physio we understand how debilitating CMT can be, and how physiotherapy treatment is used to help reduce the physical impairments in order to improve mobility and maximise your quality of life.
Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) is a disease that causes damage to the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, allowing the brain to send signals that will make the muscles move your body. Peripheral nerves also transmit sensory information, such as the sense of touch, from the limbs up to the brain. People with Charcot Marie Tooth disease experience both motor and sensory symptoms. Motor symptoms include muscle weakness and a lack of coordination resulting in difficulties walking. Sensory symptoms include numbness and pain.
At Liverpool Neuro Physio we can provide specialist neurological physiotherapy treatment to help reduce the impact that CMT disease can have on your life. Early treatment is recommended in order to maximise your potential, however treatment can be beneficial at any stage of the condition.
Charcot Marie Tooth disease is a genetic disease caused by mutations or changes to the genetic code. There are different genetic mutations that can cause CMT, and as such there are several types of Charcot Marie Tooth disease. The most common types of Charcot Marie Tooth disease are:
Charcot Marie Tooth 1
Charcot Marie Tooth 1 is caused by a defect in the genes involved in the production of the myelin sheath, which is the fatty layer surrounding a nerve fibre. The faulty genes cause the myelin sheath to break down, causing a delay or complete inhibition in the transmission of nerve impulses. Charcot Marie Tooth 1 is the most common type of CMT.
Charcot Marie Tooth 2
Charcot Marie Tooth 2 is caused by a fault in the genes involved in the production of nerve axons. Nerve axons transmit nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body. Charcot Marie Tooth 2 is not as common as type 1.
Charcot Marie Tooth 3
Charcot Marie Tooth 3 is a severe type of CMT caused by faulty genes that affect the myelin sheath. This type of CMT is very uncommon, resulting in extensive muscle weakness and sensory problems. Symptoms of CMT 3 typically manifest in the early stages of childhood.
Charcot Marie Tooth 4
Charcot Marie Tooth 4 is another uncommon form of CMT affecting the myelin sheath. CMT 4 is characterised by symptoms which present in childhood. Individuals with Charcot Marie Tooth 4 often lose the ability to walk.
Charcot Marie Tooth X
Charcot Marie Tooth X is a type of CMT that results from an alteration in the 'x' chromosome. The x chromosome is one of the chromosomes involved in determining what sex you are. Charcot Marie Tooth X typically affects men more than women.
Each type of Charcot Marie Tooth disease affects your body differently, therefore the symptoms you present with will depend on the type of CMT you have, the severity of your CMT and the current stage at which your CMT has progressed to. Typical effects of Charcot Marie Tooth disease can include:
Physiotherapy is one of the most important treatment methods for relieving the symptoms of CMT and slowing the progression of the condition. At Liverpool Neuro Physio the main aim of your physiotherapist is to provide you with an effective plan of treatment which will help you to regain and maintain your mobility to promote as much functional independence as possible. Physiotherapy treatment for CMT includes:
Physiotherapy can successfully manage the problems encountered as a result of Charcot Marie Tooth disease. Benefits of treatment include:
At Liverpool Neuro Physio we understand that Charcot Marie Tooth disease can have a big impact on your life as well as the life of family and friends. Often your Charcot Marie Tooth disease makes it extremely difficult to carry out even the simplest of everyday tasks. Therefore at Liverpool Neuro Physio, our physiotherapists aim to provide you with an effective plan of treatment to help you to regain and maintain as much functional independence as possible.