Peripheral Neuropathy Examined in Latest Continuum

February 7, 2012


The February issue of Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology® focuses on peripheral neuropathy and offers the opportunity to earn up to 12 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

“Peripheral neuropathy is common in the general population and is one of the most common reasons for referral to neurologists,” said guest editor David Simpson, MD, FAAN, FRCP, professor of neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “There have been substantial advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of peripheral neuropathy, diagnostic testing, and genetic underpinnings of some neuropathies. Clinical trials have led to novel therapeutic options for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy and its associated pain. This issue of Continuum reviews the clinical approach to peripheral neuropathy and will be of use to clinicians caring for these patients.”

The issue includes articles on:

  • Anatomic localization and diagnostic testing
  • Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease and related genetic neuropathies
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Immune–mediated neuropathies
  • Painful small fiber neuropathies
  • Infectious neuropathies
  • Medication, toxic, and vitamin–related neuropathies
  • Treatment of neuropathic pain

An ethics article covers opioid administration for severe neuropathic pain in a patient with depression and prior heroin use. Practice articles focus on managing chronic neuropathic pain with opioids, coding issues, and AAN guidelines on treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.

Upon completion of this issue, readers will be able to:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy
  • Describe the diagnostic evaluation of suspected peripheral neuropathy
  • Identify the differences in clinical and electrophysiologic features of axonal and demyelinating neuropathies
  • Discuss the most common mutations in genetic neuropathies
  • Recognize the varied clinical presentations of diabetic neuropathies
  • Identify risk factors for diabetic neuropathies
  • Discuss the clinical presentations, mechanisms, and treatment of inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathies
  • Recognize the forms of neuropathy occurring in the setting of HIV infection
  • Describe the treatment approach to painful peripheral neuropathy
  • Discuss ethical arguments for and against using opioids to treat severe neuropathic pain in a patient at risk for addiction relapse
  • Describe the impact of psychiatric and substance use comorbidity on the risks and benefits of using opioids for pain
  • Explain the impact of laws and regulations that govern the prescription of opioids for pain by physicians
  • Manage the decision to prescribe opioids for the treatment of chronic noncancer pain

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