Collective name for neurological conditions not caused by inflammation. A single nerve may be damaged by injuries such as tearing or cutting, by nerve compression, and disorders in blood supply. Paralysis of the optic muscles is known in old people with atherosclerosis, and neuropathy of the femoral nerve in diabetics. Symptoms of neuropathy of a single nerve are loss of feeling with possible tingling and pain, associated with slack paralysis in the area supplied by the nerve. So-called polyneuropathy is a symmetrically distributed disorder of the nerves at the extremities of the limbs in particular. There are many causes such as vitamin shortages (vitamin B( and B,2), diabetes mellitus, serious kidney disorders, metabolic disorders, poisoning with various medicines and heavy metals, and widespread disturbances in blood supply to the nerves of the kind that occur in rheumatic conditions, lupus erythematosus and other so-called systemic diseases. Polyneuropathy can also occur in cancer patients, for no known reason. The condition usually develops over several weeks, often beginning with loss of feeling, pain and tingling in the feet and lower parts of the legs, possibly resulting in muscular decay and slack paralysis. Later the same problems occur in the hands and forearms.

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