peripheral neuropathy (Parkinson’s disease)

Injury or damage to the nerves that supply body organs and structures including the muscles that results in tingling, numbness, pain, or loss of sensory perception and sometimes motor function. Peripheral neuropathy can occur in people with Parkinson’s disease, but it is not a symptom of, or caused by, the Parkinson’s, which affects the body’s neuromotor system within the brain rather than the peripheral sensory motor nerves.

One of the most common forms of peripheral neuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome, in which the nerves that serve the hand become compressed in the structures of the wrist. Peripheral neuropathy involving the toes and feet in particular, and sometimes the fingers and hands, is common with diabetes, a disease of metabolism in which fluctuations in blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels that supply peripheral nerves. Pain as well as circulatory problems result.

Neurodegenerative diseases in which damage to central neuronal pathways that is similar to the peripheral nerve damage that occurs in peripheral neuropathy, leading to sometimes similar symptoms, include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS), conditions in which the protective myelin sheathing that surrounds the axons of neurons is destroyed. This destruction causes neuromuscular dysfunctions as well as pain. Pain present with what appear to be symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, is usually an indication that the condition is one other than Parkinson’s.

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