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NINDS Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) Information Page


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What is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)?

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a neurological disorder characterized by progressive weakness and impaired sensory function in the legs and arms. The disorder, which is sometimes called chronic relapsing polyneuropathy, is caused by damage to the myelin sheath (the fatty covering that wraps around and protects nerve fibers) of the peripheral nerves. Although it can occur at any age and in both genders, CIDP is more common in young adults, and in men more so than women. It often presents with symptoms that include tingling or numbness (beginning in the toes and fingers), weakness of the arms and legs, loss of deep tendon reflexes (areflexia), fatigue, and abnormal sensations. CIDP is closely related to Guillain-Barre syndrome and it is considered the chronic counterpart of that acute disease.

Is there any treatment?

Treatment for CIDP includes corticosteroids such as prednisone, which may be prescribed alone or in combination with immunosuppressant drugs. Plasmapheresis (plasma exchange) and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy are effective. IVIg may be used even as a first-line therapy. Physiotherapy may improve muscle strength, function and mobility, and minimize the shrinkage of muscles and tendons and distortions of the joints.

What is the prognosis?

The course of CIDP varies widely among individuals. Some may have a bout of CIDP followed by spontaneous recovery, while others may have many bouts with partial recovery in between relapses. The disease is a treatable cause of acquired neuropathy and initiation of early treatment to prevent loss of nerve axons is recommended. However, some individuals are left with some residual numbness or weakness.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad program of research on disorders of the nervous system, including CIDP. Much of this research is aimed at increasing the understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

NIH Patient Recruitment for Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) Clinical Trials

Organizations

Column1 Column2
GBS/CIDP Foundation International
The Holly Building 104 1/2 Forrest Ave.
Narberth, PA   19072
info@gbs-cidp.org
http://www.gbs-cidp.org
Tel: 610-667-0131 866-224-3301
Fax: 610-667-7036

Neuropathy Association
60 East 42nd Street
Suite 942
New York, NY   10165-0999
info@neuropathy.org
http://www.neuropathy.org
Tel: 888-PN-FACTS (888-763-2287)
Fax: 212-692-0668

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI   48021-2227
aarda@aarda.org
http://www.aarda.org
Tel: 586-776-3900 800-598-4668
Fax: 586-776-3903

 
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Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892



NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Last updated April 16, 2014