The Reality Of Axonal Neuropathy

Axons are described as a bunch of neurons or nerves. There are different types and sizes of axons. There are the large ones with myelin sheaths which is a covering of the neuron for communication between neurons. They comprise the motor axons and sensory axons.

Their duties are for vibration sense, location perception or proprioception, and light touch. The small axons with myelin sheaths have autonomic fibers as well as sensory axons. They are the ones responsible for light touch, pain, and temperature. The small axons without myelin sheaths are also sensory and deal with pain and temperature.

Chronic axonal neuropathy can be either only sensory or a combination of sensory and motor. Its symptoms include the loss of sensation of pain and temperature, as well as spontaneous painful neuropathy. This can be described as a burning or pricking feeling on the affected area, which is typical of any peripheral neuropathy. The small myelinated and unmyelinated axons are the ones mainly affected by this type of symptom. Nerve conduction tests will be rendered normal if the large axons are not affected.

Elderly patients, who constitute about twenty five percent of the population with neuropathies, usually exhibit symptoms of axonal neuropathy that, after numerous tests and investigations on their blood and reflexes, no clear cause is found. This is called a chronic idiopathic axonal neuropathy, which is relatively benign, predominantly sensory and length dependent. This illness may progress, but very slowly and is very unlikely to render the patient immobilized and inoperative.

Patients with one of several gene related disorders are also predisposed to develop chronic axonal neuropathy. Their symptoms are usually in conjunction with other present illnesses. Some types of axonal peripheral neuropathy are often hard to diagnose. An example of this is the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. This disease is genetically passed from parents to children, with no preference on the gender. Symptoms of this illness usually start in childhood but do not surface until mid or old age. Examination and diagnosis of this disease is also dependent on the examination of other relatives.

For other peripheral neuropathies, including sensory axonal neuropathy, treatment is available, ranging from different medications to infrared therapy, although these treatments concentrate on treating the underlying diseases that aggravate the condition. Sadly, there is no specific treatment yet for chronic idiopathic axonal neuropathy. Since its root cause has not yet been discovered, it cannot be treated accurately. It is only the symptoms and the pain that can be alleviated, but not the disease itself. Even then, only through various therapy programs and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet can the pain be even partially alleviated. Since this disease appears during old age, having a well-balanced life and a fit disposition may delay the occurrence of these symptoms and add more years of quality life before a person succumbs to the pain it causes.

6 Responses to “The Reality Of Axonal Neuropathy”

  1. Thank you for the information, I has taken me a long time to discover this disease. I was noticing that my father an I had the same symtem, but he was very active and always had well balanced meals, my mom was a great cook. And knew not to feed him wrong foods, he is 83years old and He was okay until he was having vison problems and gave up working it what he loved to do, just like me I am 50 years old and it didn\’t start up until I stopped waitressing and being active, and started working sitting on a phone line at a call center, it took about 4 years for me to know that I couldn\’t go on this way, then saw doctors for answers I met Dr. Woan and through a nerve study found my problems.

  2. Thank you for the information, I has taken me a long time to discover this disease. I was noticing that my father an I had the same symtem, but he was very active and always had well balanced meals, my mom was a great cook. And knew not to feed him wrong foods, he is 83years old and He was okay until he was having vison problems and gave up working it what he loved to do, just like me I am 50 years old and it didn’t start up until I stopped waitressing and being active, and started working sitting on a phone line at a call center, it took about 4 years for me to know that I couldn’t go on this way, then saw doctors for answers I met Dr. Woan and through a nerve study found my problems.

  3. Is there any correlation between Axonal Neuropathy and Nero Dermatitis? Also does sleep apnea show up in many who have Axonal Neuropathy? Thank you for any information you can enlighten me on this.

  4. I have axonal and peripheral neuropathy, sleep apnea, mixed connective disorder resembling MS, psoriatic arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I am not diabetic, and have been disabled from my nuusing career since 2000, though I continue to advocate for others and maintain an active music ministry. I’m beginning to slow down now, as my neuropathy is to the shoulders, and to the hips – but I continue to walk unassisted most of the time, and embroider and cross stitch endlessly when I’m not singing.

  5. I have axonal/peripheral neuropathy from head to toes. Came on after having ME/CFS for 23 years. I take Gabapentin and Nortriptyline to block some of the nerve pain. I have tried to come off Nortriptyline but pain and discomfort too much to take. I take supplements to help nerves like B vitamins, Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic acid. I think years of anxiety triggered it. No pain when lying down and do meditation which helps. Still very mobile and do artwork etc as much as I can. If you stop still you can lose feeling, so keeping mobile is important. Good diet, supplements etc vitally important. One thing I will say is keep your bowel moving as being constipated causes most pain and pressure on nerves all over body.

  6. My 18 year old son has been stricken with axonal peripheral neuropathy. We do not know much about this disease or what to do. The doctors have him on a lot of different pain medication but they do not help much. Is this something he will have to deal with the rest of his life or is this something that will improve in time?

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