Fatigue, numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs could mean chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or CIDP, is a rare and progressive autoimmune disease that affects the nerves in the arms and legs.1 In people with CIDP, the protective covering of the peripheral nerves called myelin is damaged by the body's own immune system.2,3 Damage to nerves and their myelin covering means that messages from the brain to various parts of the body get disrupted, and this can cause weakness and gradual loss of sensations and reflexes. Over time, this damage may lead to disability in the arms and legs.4

While there is no known cure for CIDP, it can be treated and symptoms may be reversed if caught early enough. It is critical to talk to a doctor immediately because permanent nerve damage cannot be reversed.2,5

NORMAL NERVES

send messages to the brain and are protected by myelin sheaths4

DAMAGED NERVES

have trouble sending messages to the brain4

A disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy cells.

The portion of the nervous system that is outside the brain and spinal cord.

A network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by "foreign" invaders.


There is no definitive test to diagnose CIDP, and it often requires a referral to a specialist(s) to confirm diagnosis. But there are some tests and tools doctors use to help assess patients for CIDP.


Your doctor may treat CIDP in a variety of ways.


CIDP progresses over time and often takes longer to diagnose. It is treatable but there is also possibility of relapse.


NEED A SPECIALIST?

Find a specialist who can help you from diagnosis to treatment.

References:

1. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy. University of Rochester Medical Center website. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx? ContentTypeID=134&ContentID=210. Accessed January 9, 2017. 2. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. National Institutes of Health website. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000777.htm Accessed January 9, 2017. 3. What is the immune system? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/prevention/immune_system/. Accessed February 16, 2017. 4. Koski CL.CIDP: Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. Narberth, PA: GBS/CIDP Foundation International; 2012. 5. Köller H, Keiseier BC, Jander S, Hartung HP. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. N Engl J Med. 2005;352(13):1343-1356.