CMT is a genetic condition that damages peripheral nerves. These nerves are responsible for passing on commands from the brain to the muscles (motor nerves) and for passing information to the brain about sensations, such as pain, heat, cold, touch, importantly for balance – where your joints are in space (sensory nerves). When these are damaged, people are said to have a neuropathy.
Because of this nerve damage, people with CMT may find that some of their muscles become slowly weaker over the years, particularly in their feet and hands. Some find that feeling becomes duller, or numb, in the same areas.
In the UK, around 25,000 people are thought to have CMT, making it the most common inherited neurological condition.
Other key points about CMT are that the condition:
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