Peripheral Neuropathy is not a distinct disease, but the manifestation of many conditions that damage the peripheral nerves (nervous tissue other than the brain and spinal cord). Symptoms depend on whether sensory nerves (the nerves that transmit sensory information from the body to the brain and spinal cord) or motor nerves (the nerves that transmit impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the body) are affected. If the sensory nerves are damaged, sensation may be diminished, lacking or abnormal. Damaged motor nerves impair movement or function. Peripheral neuropathy may be caused by direct or indirect injury, or by a systemic cause such as a metabolic disorder.
Review Date 4/25/2022
Updated by: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.