Glossary

Acetyl-Carnitine

(abbreviated ALCAR) Treatments with ALCAR have been shown to reverse mitochondrial damage in many kinds of cells, including neurons. This is potentially beneficial for drug-induced neuropathies that damage mitochondria which upsets the regulation of calcium in and out of ion channels. By targeting mitochondria in this way, researchers hope that the neuropathy resulting from mitochondrial damage can either be significantly reduced or perhaps one day prevented.

Amyloid

An insoluble fibrous protein that, for unknown reasons, is in excess in many diseases and disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and multiple myeloma.

Distal

In relation to neuropathies, nerves that are the furthest away from the central nervous system are the ones that are being affected.

Gabapentin

The common name for this medication is called Neurotonin. It is often used to treat epileptic seizures, as well as neuropathies of all kinds, most notably diabetic and chemo-related. Although this drug makes use of a neurotransmitter called GABA, the actual way it helps neuropathic pain is unknown. It is generally well-tolerated (few side effects), easily titrated, has few drug interactions, and doesn’t require laboratory monitoring. However, it is very expensive, which is a limiting factor for some patients.

Glucocorticoids

They are a class of steroid hormones. They have an excitatory effect on the nervous system, and they reduce inflammation by suppressing certain immune system cells, an effect which helps reduce the pain that often occurs in sensorimotor neuropathy.

Intravenous Immune Globin

(abbreviated IGIV) IGIV is a sterilized solution obtained from pooled human blood. It contains the antibodies that protect against infectious agents that cause various disease.

Ion

An atom or molecule that has lost one or more of its electrons, making it negatively or positively charged.

Mitochondria

Membrane-enclosed organelles that are found in most eukaryotic cells. They generate and supply cellular energy and are also involved in a range of other processes like cell signaling and cell growth.

Mitochondria

Motor Neuropathy

In this neuropathy, the neurons that control movement/actions are affected.


Nerve Response

Peripheral Neuropathy

This is the most common neuropathy (synonymous with sensorimotor neuropathy). It is an umbrella term covering sensory and motor neuropathies. The most common places to experience peripheral neuropathy are the hands and feet, and the most common complaints associated with it are numbness, tingling, or painful burning.


Nervous System
Images taken from apps.uwhealth.org/health/adam/hie/2/8679.htm

 

Nerves in FootPlasmapheresis

It is a therapeutic plasma exchange using a blood purification procedure used to treat several autoimmune diseases. It removes antibodies from the bloodstream, thereby preventing them from attacking their targets, which in neuropathy, is often the neurons themselves.

Polyneuropathy

A neurological disorder that occurs when many peripheral nerves in the body malfunction simultaneously.

Sensorimotor Neuropathy

Pain, tingling, or other neuropathic symptoms are felt in a mixture of sensory and motor neurons in the periphery. This term is synonymous with peripheral neuropathy.

Sensory Neuropathy

In this neuropathy, the neurons that detect sensations (like pain, pressure, temperature, etc) are affected.

Subacute Myeloptic Neuropathy

(SMON) It is a severe type of neuropathy (notably caused by an antibacterial medication called Choloroquine) dealing with inflammation, compression, and/or shriveling of the spinal cord.

Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamin, this vitamin helps fuel the body by converting blood sugar into energy. It essential in maintaining the health of the nervous system, cardiovascular function, and muscular function.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin’s primary function is to form red blood cells and maintain a healthy nervous system. B12 metabolizes the fatty acids essential to maintaining the myelin sheath on an axon. If prolonged deficiency happens, anemia and/or degeneration and demyelination of nerves can occur, and sometimes this damage is irreversible.

Wernicke’s Encephalopathy

A disorder caused by vitamin B1 deficiency. It is characterized by incoordination of muscle movement, paralysis of eye muscles (extraocular muscles), confusion, and loss of short-term memory.