About CMT

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (named after the 3 medical professionals who first identified CMT), is also known as Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy (HMSN). It is a common but frequently undiagnosed condition. CMT is not a contagious disease but is an inherited neurological disease and in some families has a 50% chance of being passed onto other generations. Research has indicated that as many as 1 in 2,500 people in Australia could have CMT. CMT is not life threatening although people with CMT have it for life.

SYMPTOMS
CMT causes slow degeneration of the peripheral nerves including feet, legs, arms and hands. Typically muscles are weakened due to the loss of stimulation by affected nerves. The severity of the disease can vary a great deal from person to person even within the same family. The symptoms are also varied. There are over 50 types of CMT with no known cure for CMT at this point in time. However, significant research is being done both in Australia and overseas to find one.

A common sympton of CMT is weakness in leg muscles which affects one’s co-ordination and balance in such things as walking, running, walking up or down stairs, walking on uneven ground or just standing still or standing for long periods of time. Other symptoms which may affect CMT patients include: tremors, fatigue and diminishing fine motor skills.
Foot abnormalities such as high arched feet or, in some cases flat feet, weak ankles and tendon tightening pose the most serious problems. Sometimes patients may need to wear foot orthoses or braces or undergo surgery. Even the simplest things, functions we take for granted, like unscrewing a bottle top, fastening buttons, turning on a tap or opening a door handle can pose problems for those with muscle wastage in the hands. Untidy hand writing due to not having control over the muscles and nerves in the hands and fingers can pose a big problem for both children and adults.

The CMTAA Inc. strongly encourages people with CMT to participate in as many regular daily activities as possible and to develop skills in areas that they can excel in.

THE GOOD NEWS
Significant progress is being made regarding CMT management strategies that have the potential to provide a fulfilling and healthy life. 

These include:

Please contact our office team regarding more information on what is available and how best to obtain it.