A study conducted by researchers from Aix-Marseille University in France has revealed a new way to track disease progression of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1a (CMT1a)– changes to the nerves within the thigh. These changes were found to be correlated with clinical disability in patients. This means that nerve tissue could not only help to monitor progression, it could also be used to determine how effective a treatment is for patients.
This study was published in the European Journal of Neurology.
CMT1a affects the myelin surrounding the nerve cells. It slows the nerve signal’s transmission from the muscles to the brain and the brain to the muscles. Symptoms include muscle weakness, which is progressive, muscle atrophy, and a decrease in sensation.
Currently, there are no therapies which target the root cause of the disease. Further, doctors have found it difficult to track the progression of disease.
Greater research into nerve tissue is needed, but this research is certainly promising. This means longitudinal studies are needed to assess progression and changes during treatment.
You can read more about this ongoing research and its progress here.