Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a group of genetic nerve disorders. It is named after the three doctors who first identified it. In the United States, CMT affects about 1 in 2,500 people.
CMT affects your peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves carry movement and sensation signals between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body. Symptoms usually start around the teen years. Foot problems such as high arches or hammertoes can be early symptoms. As CMT progresses, your lower legs may weaken. Later, your hands may also become weak.
Doctors diagnose CMT by doing a neurologic exam, nerve tests, genetic tests, or a nerve biopsy. There is no cure. The disease can be so mild you don't realize you have it or severe enough to make you weak. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, braces and other devices and sometimes surgery can help.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Signs and Symptoms (Muscular Dystrophy Association)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Electromyography (EMG) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Medical Management (Muscular Dystrophy Association)
- Types of CMT (Muscular Dystrophy Association)
- Causes of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) (Muscular Dystrophy Association)
- Genetics Home Reference: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (National Library of Medicine)
- Learning about Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (National Human Genome Research Institute)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Find a Neurologist (American Academy of Neurology)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Also in Spanish