Alcoholic neuropathy: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Poor absorption and low intake of these vitamins have clinical features of dermatitis, neuropathy, and anorexia. Among patients with chronic alcohol use disorder, neuropathy is the most common harmful sequelae. It is estimated that in the United States 25% to 66% of chronic alcohol users experience some form of neuropathy; however, the true incidence in the general population is unknown. The majority of patients were middle-class, working men and continuous drinkers were more affected than episodic drinkers. Women are more likely to develop alcohol polyneuropathy and suffer from a more rapid onset and greater severity.

alcohol neuropathy

Chronic alcohol consumption can have deleterious effects on the central and peripheral nervous systems. One of the most common adverse effects seen in patients with chronic alcohol use disorder is alcohol neuropathy. This commonly presents with pain, paresthesias, and ataxia in the distal lower extremities. The exact number of people affected by this condition is not known, but studies have shown that up to 66% of patients with chronic alcohol use disorder may have some form of the disease. The cause is multifactorial, from both nutritional deficiencies and alcohol metabolism’s direct toxic effects on neurons. History and physical exam can help to differential this condition from other forms of neuropathy.

Fever: Having a fever can lead to dehydration through increased sweating.

The prevalence of denervation findings on EMG ranged from muscle to muscle, with the highest being in the muscles of the lower limbs suggesting a length-dependent pattern [35, 45, 52, 59]. Thiamine serves as an important coenzyme in carbohydrate metabolism and neuron development. The lack of thiamine in the nervous system affects the cellular structure and can cause cell membrane damage and irregular ectopic cells. Other vitamin deficiencies seen with alcohol abuse include, but are not limited to, B-vitamins, folic acid, and vitamin-E.

alcohol neuropathy

Additionally, the tactile sensitivity reflex was observed in thinner monofilaments in the AL group. Alcohol can have a toxic effect on nerve tissue, and alcohol abuse is one of the most frequent causes of neuropathy. According to studies, it is estimated that as many as 66% of individuals with chronic alcohol abuse may suffer from alcoholic polyneuropathy. Other coexisting, alcohol-related diseases may induce exacerbation of AAN symptoms.

Alcoholic neuropathy

Physical therapy and orthopedic appliances (such as splints) may be needed to maintain muscle function and limb position. Motor nerves are the nerves responsible for all voluntary skeletal and somatic movement such as moving the leg or arm. This is a summary of independent research carried out at the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical alcoholic neuropathy recovery time Research Centre (Translational Neuroscience). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. By Sarah Jividen, RN

Sarah Jividen, RN, BSN, is a freelance healthcare journalist and content marketing writer at Health Writing Solutions, LLC.

Rats with experimentally-induced diabetes for 2 months had a 20% reduction in nerve conduction velocity and 48% reduction in endoneurial blood flow. A mechanism of cisplatin chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy was elucidated in an in vitro mouse model. Apoptosis of neurones was induced by cisplatin, but pre-incubation with N-acetylcysteine completely blocked apoptosis [112].

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