Peripheral Neuropathy

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


Peripheral neuropathy can be defined as a syndrome characterized by muscle weakness and wasting, altered or loss of sensation and vasomotor symptoms. It is less common in the old-old (>80 years) compared to the young-old (65–79 years), 25% vs. 46%. It may affect a single nerve or nerve root (axonopathy or radiculopathy). The nerve cell body may be the primary site of involvement (neuronopathy) and the sensory or autonomic ganglia (ganglioneuropathies). There are several causes. The clinical manifestations of neuropathy depend on the type, distribution and degree of damage of the nerve(s). Diabetes and alcoholism are the most common causes of polyneuropathy in Australia. Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is the third most common. GBS has a bimodal age distribution, one peak in the young and another in the older population. GBS can be divided into demyelinating and axonal forms based on pathological and electrodiagnostic findings. They are the acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculopathy (AIDP), acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), acute motor sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN), Miller Fisher syndrome and panautonomic neuropathy.


Polyneuropathy Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculopathy (AIDP) Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) Acute motor sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) Miller Fisher syndrome Panautonomic neuropathy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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