Hereditary or Genetic Neuropathy

genetic neuropathyIs neuropathy hereditary?

Damaged DNA.Hereditary neuropathies are a group of inherited disorders affecting the peripheral nervous system.

The Inherited Neuropathies are those that are created when the genes create some form of metabolism interruption.

Heredity comes from the gene makeup and one thing should be mentioned is that genetic damage and alteration can be done by many factors in our environment. This damage can be from a break in the DNA strand structure, or a change in the sequence of the genes. In human cells both metabolic activities and environmental factors can cause DNA damage

Chemicals, radiation and toxins can also produce damage.

Metabolic activities producing large amounts of free radical can produce damage. (A good reason to make sure that a person has enough antioxidants. See Free Radicals and Anti-Oxidants)

Types of Inherited Neuropathy

The hereditary neuropathies are divided into four major subcategories: sensory neuropathy, motor neuropathy, motor and sensory neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy.

The most common type pf hereditary neuropathy are:

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease

Some forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease are inherited. This disease creates both motor and sensory neuropathies. This is sometimes called Inherited Charcot Marie Tooth Disease. In some cases the gene mutation causing CMT disease is a new mutation which occurs due to gene damage and not passed down from parent to child.

It damages the nerves. A typical feature includes weakness of the foot and lower leg muscles, which may result in foot drop and a high-stepped gait with frequent tripping or falls

CMT is caused by mutations in genes that produce proteins involved in the structure and function of either the peripheral nerve axon or the myelin sheath. The degeneration means the nerves slowly lose the ability to communicate which results in muscle weakness and atrophy. Degeneration of sensory nerves results in a reduced ability to feel heat, cold and pain.

Refsum Disease

A rare form of genetic disorders which results in a disruption of lipid metabolism. It is a result of a malfunction of the gene that makes the enzymes that breaks down the acid, phytanic acid. In this disease there is an accumulation of these fatty acids in blood and tissues. As a result, it builds up in the body’s tissues. The nerves of the brain can fail to grow in children. This accumulation is toxic to the nerve cell.

It is characterized by a progressive loss of vision, or vision impairment. It creates degenerative nerve disease (peripheral neuropathy), failure of muscle coordination (ataxia) and bone and skin changes.

There is Adult Refsum Disease (ARD) and Classic Refsum Disease (CRD)

Symptoms may include night blindness, loss of peripheral vision, and numbness and weakness associated with failure of muscle coordination. Affected individuals may experience an unusual burning or prickling sensation (paresthesia) of arms and legs. Neurological symptoms include unsteady walking with frequent falls (ataxia), and peripheral neuropathy (characterized by sensory, motor, and reflex changes). Skin changes may include dryness, itchiness, and scaliness

Treatment with a diet low in foods that contain phytanic acid can be beneficial. Our bodies cannot make phytanic acid. Instead, it is introduced to the body in certain foods, including dairy products, beef, lamb and some seafood.


Porphyria (poor-FEAR-e-uh) refers to a group of disorders that result from a buildup of natural chemicals that produce porphyrin in your body. Porphyrins are essential for the function of hemoglobin — a protein in your red blood cells that links to porphyrin, binds iron, and carries oxygen to your organs and tissue. High levels of porphyrins can cause significant problems.

Porphyria mainly affects your nervous system, skin and other organs.

The signs and symptoms of porphyria can vary, depending on the specific type and severity. Porphyria is usually inherited — one or both parents pass along an abnormal gene to their child. But in some types of porphyria, environmental factors may trigger the development of symptoms.

Treatment depends on the type of porphyria you have. Certain lifestyle changes may help you manage it.

Fabry Disease

Also known as Anderson-Fabry Disease, Angiokeratoma corporis diffusum and alpha-galactosidase A deficiency

This is an inherited disorder that results from the buildup of a particular type of fat called gluobtriaosylceramide in the body’s cells. This begins in childhood. The buildup affects many parts of the body including the nerves.

Symptoms can be episodes of pain, particularly in the hands and feet; clusters of small, dark red spots on the skin, a decreased ability to sweat, cloudiness of the front part of the eye (corneal opacity) problems with the gastrointestinal tract, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss. It can also be life threatening with complications such as progressive kidney damage, heart attack, and stroke.

Some individuals have milder forms of this disease that appears later in life and affect only the heart or kidneys. It is more common in males than females.

Hereditary Neuropathy With Liability to Pressure Palsies

This is a hereditary disorder in which nerves become increasingly sensitive to pressure, injury, and use.

In this neuropathy, nerves are susceptible to damage resulting from relatively slight pressure or injury or from repetitive use. Usually, this neuropathy starts during adolescence or young adulthood, but it may start at any age. It affects both sexes equally. Only one gene from one parent is required for the disease to develop

Symptoms tend to come and go.

Peroneal nerve palsy with foot drop, ulnar nerve palsy, and carpal tunnel syndrome commonly develop. Numbness or weakness can occur.

Symptoms vary from very mild to severe. Episodes may last several minutes or go on for months. After an episode, about half of the people recover completely, and the rest have mild symptoms.

Treatment for Neuropathy

There are many medications, and other remedies that can bring you relief, you can read about them in this article Neuropathy Treatments


What can you do:

Take a Quiz: Am I doing everything I can to daily help my neuropathy?

Find out what lifestyle changes will help, take the quiz and get our suggestions and get our assistance on what you can do.

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Lasting Relief

None of the various neuropathy treatments will build healthy nerves. You can cover up the symptoms and you can increase circulation and you can make a person feel less pain, etc., but if you build healthy nerves, there will not be any symptoms (healthy nerves don’t hurt, tingle, burn, are not numb, etc.) and the relief will be lasting.

Building Healthy Nerves

Healthy sensory nerves mean that they are not painful. Healthy nerves means that they communicate and don’t send wrong signals such as burning, hot and cold, tingling when there is no reason for it. Healthy motor nerves mean that they relay messages from the brain to the muscle so that they move correctly. Nerves need to be healthy to function properly.

The body needs specific nutrients (vitamins) to be able to build healthy nerves.

It may not give immediate relief (although many do feel changes in the first week) as the vitamins are working at a cellular level, but it does address the actual problem, builds healthy nerves and brings lasting relief.

(For temporary relief while building healthy nerves, go to Pain Relief Formula)

What can be done for lasting relief?

Find out how to Build Healthy Nerves

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