Neuropathy - Definition

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The term neuropathy refers to a nerve pathology, and is generally used to describe peripheral neuropathy, in other words damage of the nerves that make up the peripheral nervous system, consisting of many nerves that run throughout the body. The peripheral nervous system differs from the central nervous system, in that this latter is comprised of neurons located in the brain and spinal cord. There are a great number of different neuropathies, affecting many different nerves. Mononeuropathy is where one nerve only is affected, polyneuropathy when several nerves are successively damaged, polyneuritis where many nerves are being damaged at their ends, and polyradiculitis defines damage of several nerve roots that emerge from the spinal column. Neuropathy can also be caused by many varied conditions and diseases, including genetic disease, cancerous tumor, inflammation, alcoholism, diabetes, and so on. Symptoms can include pain, sensory impairment, motor impairment, and paralysis, and treatment methods differ greatly depending on the type of neuropathy and underlying cause.