Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited neurological disorder that affects the peripheral nerves (a network of nerves connecting the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body). It results in muscle weakness and other symptoms in the arms and legs.
At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute, our neuromuscular specialists have uncommon expertise in diagnosing and treating rare neuromuscular disorders. We use personalized treatment plans to address your specific challenges and provide a wealth of support services to help you manage this condition.
Charcot-marie-tooth disease symptoms
Symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease often appear in adolescence or early adulthood and include:
- Foot dropping
- High-stepping gait (lifting one or both feet higher than normal when walking)
- Tripping and falling often
- Weakness in your foot and lower leg muscles
- Weakness or a loss of the fine motor skills in your arms and hands
Diagnosing charcot-marie-tooth disease
At AHN, we use the latest diagnostic tests to provide you with a precise diagnosis. After performing a thorough physical examination, your physician may recommend one or more tests, including:
- Electromyogram (EMG): This test measures the electrical activity of muscles.
- Nerve conduction studies: A nerve conduction velocity test measures the nerves’ ability to send electrical signals. We often perform it along with an EMG to help determine whether symptoms are related to your nerves or muscles.
- Genetic tests: These tests look for certain genetic mutations, which can determine whether a condition is inherited (passed down through your family).
- Nerve biopsy: A physician removes a tiny piece of peripheral nerve for further analysis in a laboratory.
Get expert treatment at AHN
Our neuromuscular specialists work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your changing needs over time. We offer a range of effective therapies to help you manage symptoms, reduce pain, and increase your muscle strength.
Your treatment plan may include one or more treatments:
- Physical therapy: Certain exercises or activities may strengthen your muscles and increase your stamina. Physical therapy can help you move and complete daily activities more easily. Our knowledgeable, caring physical therapists customize a physical therapy plan for you.
- Orthopaedic devices: Devices such as ankle braces, high-top shoes, and hand splints support you in everyday movements and help prevent injuries.