What is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?

The Peripheral Neuropathy clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of few designated Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA) Centers of Excellence in the country dedicated to the treatment of individuals with all types of inherited neuropathies and their family members and caretakers.

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that results from damage of the nerves situated in the peripheral part of the body, and may be either inherited or caused by another condition. Inherited forms of peripheral neuropathy are caused by changes or mutations in an individual’s genetic material, or DNA. All of the inherited peripheral neuropathies are collectively referred to as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) can affect both the motor (movement) and sensory (feeling) nerves in your extremities — legs, feet, arms and hands.

Named for the three physicians who discovered the disease in 1886, CMT is one of the most common types of hereditary nerve disorders, affecting 2.6 million people worldwide.