Peripheral neuropathy is a common neurological disorder resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves, located outside of the brain and spinal cord, provide the means of communication between the brain and other parts of the body, including muscles, skin, internal organs and blood vessels. Neuropathies affect at least 20 million people in the United States.
If one nerve is damaged, the condition is referred to as mononeuropathy. If many nerves are involved, it is called polyneuropathy.
Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy
Although there are some cases in which the cause is unknown, peripheral neuropathies have many well-defined causes, including:
- Autoimmune disorders, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Bell's palsy
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic kidney failure
- Connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and sarcoidosis
- Diabetes mellitus — nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from peripheral neuropathy
- Infectious disease, such as Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B
- Liver failure
- Vitamin deficiencies
Our Approach to Peripheral Neuropathy
Our experts treat peripheral neuropathy by focusing on the underlying cause. We offer advanced diagnostic techniques as well as surgical and nonsurgical treatments. We also provide education, support and outreach programs for patients living with these disorders.
Awards & recognition
Best hospital in Northern California
Best in the U.S. in neurology & neurosurgery
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.