Peripheral neuropathy is a disease marked by the degeneration of peripheral sensory nerves that result from a complication of a certain disease or injury. Symptoms vary from patient to patient and include: tingling, numbness, hypersensitivity, and intense, jarring pain in the extremities. Eventually, all sensation in the hands and feet are lost often resulting in ulcers and amputation. The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy is 2-4% worldwide and 6% in the US alone. Despite the large amount of individuals debilitated by this disease, there aren’t any FDA-approved treatments aside from pain medication.
There are multiple diseases associated with this condition, Diabetes being the most prominent. Other related illnesses include HIV, cancer, as well as several idiopathic diseases. Peripheral neuropathy not only arises from the infections themselves, but the drugs used to treat them as well. This is often the case with chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and HIV- induced peripheral neuropathy (HIV-PN). The fact that peripheral neuropathy is caused by so many different things is one of the reasons the condition is difficult to treat.