What is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, is an inherited group of disorders that cause nerves to malfunction in your feet, legs, hands, and arms. CMT disease affects both your motor nerves (nerves that carry signals from your brain to your muscles, telling them to move) and sensory nerves (nerves that carry sensations such as heat, cold, and pain to your brain). Symptoms of the disease normally begin in adolescence and gradually worsen over your lifetime, resulting in:

  • muscle weakness
  • muscular atrophy
  • loss of sensation in certain parts of the body

Charcot-Marie-Tooth is not a fatal disease, and most people live to a normal age and remain active.

What causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease?

CMT disease is almost always caused by a gene defect inherited from one or both parents.

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