REVIEW
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Sensory neuropathies, from symptoms to treatment.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present review focuses on recent developments in diagnosis and treatment of sensory neuropathies. It does not seek to establish a comprehensive classification of sensory neuropathies, nor treatment guidelines per se.

RECENT FINDINGS: Diagnostic criteria and guidelines have been developed for distal symmetric polyneuropathies, small fiber sensory neuropathies and sensory neuronopathies. Novel diagnostic tools such as skin biopsies now allow diagnosis of small fiber sensory neuropathies. Genetic testing has defined new subtypes of mitochondrial neuropathies and inherited neuropathies with sensory involvement. Intravenous immunoglobulin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors show promise for some dysimmune sensory neuropathies or neuronopathies. Additional options for management of neuropathic pain are emerging.

SUMMARY: Diagnostic methods for both acquired and hereditary sensory neuropathies have progressed in recent years, leading to earlier and more specific diagnoses and a better understanding of disease mechanisms. Much progress remains to be made regarding symptomatic and disease-modifying therapy for a range of sensory neuropathies, including those due to diabetes, HIV infection and from dysimmune or hereditary causes.

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