JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Infectious neuropathies

Jessica Robinson-Papp
Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology 2012, 18 (1): 126-38
22810073

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to address bacterial, viral, and other infectious causes of neuropathy or neuronopathy, with an emphasis on clinical manifestations and treatment.

RECENT FINDINGS: Most infectious neuropathies have been well described for some time and treatments are well established. An exception is HIV-associated distal symmetric polyneuropathy, which is an area of active research. Current work in this area focuses on epidemiology, risk factors, and underlying mechanisms.

SUMMARY: Infectious diseases are an important part of the differential diagnosis of peripheral nerve disorders because they are among the most amenable to treatment. However, diagnosis of infectious peripheral neuropathy may be challenging because of variability in a number of factors, including the pattern of deficits, geographic distribution of pathogens, length of time from the onset of infection to the development of neuropathy, and mechanism of nerve injury.

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