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What is Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare autoimmune disorder in which there is swelling of nerve roots and destruction of the covering (myelin sheath) over the nerves. This causes weakness, paralysis, and/or impairment in motor function, especially of the arms and legs. Sensory loss may also be present, causing numbness, tingling, and burning sensations. The motor and sensory impairments are usually found on both sides of the body. The severity of CIDP can vary from mild to severe. CIDP can affect any age group, and the onset may begin anytime throughout life.

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a neurological disorder that causes progressive weakness and impaired sensory function in the legs and arms. Symptoms often include tingling or numbness (first in the toes and fingers), weakness of the arms and legs, loss of deep tendon reflexes, fatigue, and abnormal sensations.[1] Other symptoms may include pain, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and double vision (diplopia).[2] CIDP is thought to be caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking and damaging the myelin sheath (protective cover of nerve fibers) of the peripheral nerves.[3] CIDP is closely related to Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and is considered the “chronic counterpart” of GBS. Treatment may include corticosteroids, immunosuppressant drugs, plasma exchange, physical therapy, and/or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy.[1] Left untreated, 30% of people with CIDP will progress to wheelchair dependence.[4]

This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).

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