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  • Gregory W. Fulton ALS Center

    ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Experts in Phoenix, Arizona

    Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy

    Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is a neurological disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack and damage the myelin sheath of the peripheral nerve. Peripheral nerves originate in the spinal cord and branch out to the rest of the body

    Myelin protects nerves and insulates the electrical signals that travel up and down them. When this protective coating is damaged, nerve signals may be interrupted, leading to weakness and impaired sensory function in the arms and legs.

    Additional Information

    How common is chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy?

    Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy is a rare disorder. There are about one to two new cases for every 100,000 people each year. However, because CIDP usually progresses slowly, a person may have it for years before a diagnosis is made.

    Who gets chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy?

    Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy can occur at any age but is more common in young adults. It is also more common in men than in women.

    How is chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy diagnosed?

    In addition to a physical exam, your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy:

    • Electromyography
    • Nerve conduction studies
    • Blood tests
    • Urine tests
    • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
    • Nerve biopsy
    Symptoms of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy

    Symptoms of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy usually progress slowly and may include:

    • Tingling or numbness, beginning in your toes and fingers
    • Weakness in your arms and legs
    • Loss of reflexes
    • Fatigue
    • Pain
    • Difficulty walking

    The presence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have CIDP, as they are shared with other conditions. Contact a medical professional if you are having symptoms.

    Treatments for Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy

    Treatment options for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) include:

    • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
    • Plasmapheresis (plasma exchange)
    • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy
    • Physical and occupational therapies

    Your prognosis may be better if the disease is identified and treated early. People with CIDP will experience flare ups of their disease interspersed with periods of remission, but the duration and frequency of these relapses and remissions varies from person to person.

    Information and Resources about Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy:

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke | Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP)

    GBS | CIDP Foundation International | Recently Diagnosed with CIDP

    Medscape | Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy

    • Date of last review: February 17, 2017

    About Barrow Neurological Institute

    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.