Small Nerve Fibers Defy Neuropathy Conventions

Peripheral neuropathy research study suggests even prediabetes could cause nerve damage.

Peripheral neuropathy research results of a small study of people with tingling pain in their hands and feet have added to evidence that so-called prediabetes is more damaging to motor nerves than once believed.  The report on the study was published online in JAMA Neurology on April 11.

Johns Hopkins neurologists say the study of patients with small fiber neuropathy showed unexpected deterioration over the entire length of sensory nerve fibers, rather than just at the longest ends first, which the investigators say defies the conventional wisdom of how nerves were thought to deteriorate.

Over the three-year course of the study of the 62 participants, 13 of them with prediabetes, the investigators found that generalized damage occurs in those with prediabetes, and that the precursor condition may be less benign than most clinicians appreciate.

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