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Polyneuropathy - Definition


Polyneuropathy is a neurological disorder localized in the peripheral nervous system, outside of the brain and spinal cord. Several nerves of different areas of the body are affected. There are multiple possible causes for this condition, the most common being associated with diabetes, in which case it is called diabetic neuropathy. It is also caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, where the condition is called alcoholic polyneuropathy, and medication, especially chemotherapy. Polyneuropathy can manifest in different ways, but typically as a loss in sensitivity, pins and needles and pricking sensations, neural pain, and in rarer cases motor impairment such as cramps or walking difficulties. Treatment must be adapted to the underlying cause of the disorder.