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Old 03-18-2009, 12:27 AM #1
jsrail jsrail is offline
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Default PN Question

I'm not that long here and I have a questions that I want to know the answer to and I know you brainy folks will have the answer to:

-I see "PN" referenced all the time. Does PN refer to SFN and LFN? Or just LFN? Or something different? (though I don't think so)
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:44 AM #2
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Peripheral neuropathy is an umbrella term that denotes a disorder of, or damage to, the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system consists of all the motor and sensory nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest ...

As the statement says, I think we just use the term "peripheral neuropathy" as a general reference. I have ulnar and sensory neuropathy. I often say I have the "princess and the pea" neuropathy...I can't stand having certain things touching me. I can't stand having a necklace touching me, watches are out of the question, prefer shorts over jeans or slacks, light, soft blankets, nothing heavy, I like my clothes to be baggy.

As a rule, I just tell people I have neuropathy, and leave it at that.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:10 AM #3
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Default Peripheral neuropathy is the catch-all term--

--referring to nerve problems outside the brain and spinal cord, but there's often a need to be more specific.

SFN = small fiber neuropathy: problems with the small, unmyelinated nerves that subsume the sensations of pain and temperature, and also underlie most autonomic functioning.

LFN = large fiber neuropathy: problems with the larger, myelinated nerves that subsume sensations of vibration, postion, and mechanical touch. Also all motor function--motor nerves are myelinated.

Polyneuropathy just refers to many nerves being involved, as opposed to mononeuropathy, which is disruption along one nerve pathway. Sometimes, you'll see reference to mutliple mononeuropathies; that's when the situation isn't global throughout the body, but involves several individual nerve pathways. This can happen with compression of nerve roots from the spinal cord, for example--if one has pressure on several nerve roots, this is a mutliple mononeuropathy. Nerve root problems are also called radiculopathy--literally, problem with the root (radic is Latin for root).

After that, one can get into a bewildering group of specific syndromes, such as CIDP--chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. At least that term is descriptive--they aren't always.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:51 AM #4
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Thanks, I think sometimes I got polyneuropathy and peripheral neuropathy mixed up and didn't really know what these meant! lol

Thanks again for clearing this up for me!

Jay
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:50 PM #5
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Default There are many 'labels' you can use....

PN, Polyneuropathy, radiculopathy and the whole mess of others....just get your doctors to narrow down which one of the 'set' of neuropathies you might have. THEN be very, very consistent to other doctors you see for other issues or other opinions. It's important for long term assessments and possibly disability claims in the distance.
I speak from experience, as my own neuro rotates between poly-n's and the CIDP. I am consistent using the CIDP as it can be best looked up by other docs who might [or not] get a better understanding on how this all impacts life in general and occasionally specifically.
Simply put 'neuropathy' is defined is put many ways as seen in this attachment:
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedic...com/neuropathy
Essentially it's damage to 'peripheral nerves' that HURT!
Causes and 'etiologies' vary widely.
To non-medical folks tho, it mite be harder to explain.... there you are going to have to find your way as to how best describe in terms they might relate to what it is that is so discomfiting and possibly disableing about your situation. Even very intelligent and well-educated people often find such pain hard to grasp. It's a matter of trial and error to get the best words that 'fit'. Don't give up, you will find the way! - j
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