Axonal neuropathy - Definition

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Neuropathy is the generic term defining a pathology affecting a nerve. Axonal neuropathies, or axonopathies, are localized at the axons, or in other words, the neuron extensions that relay information between different neurons of the body or from one neuron to an information effector cell. Axons can be damaged due to a violent shock to the nerve, disease, or even from taking certain types of medication. This type of neuropathy is distinct from myelinopathy or demyelinating neuropathy that affects the myelin, a substance surrounding the axon and enabling faster nerve impulse relay. When the myelin is destroyed, therefore, information is relayed more slowly. Axonopathy can manifest like any other neuropathy, with typical symptoms of sensory or motor impairment, of diverse localization depending on which neurons are affected.