Charcot-Marie - Tooth Disease (CMT)

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT),

also known as Peroneal Muscular Atrophy, Progressive Neuropathic Peroneal Muscular Atrophy, Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy, and Hereditary Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction is a group of inherited disorders that affect the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves).

Signs and Symptoms 

The signs and symptoms vary patient to patient and may show in childhood to adulthood and usually start in the feet.

  • weakness of the legs and hands
  • high arched feet
  • clawed hands
  • thin calves due to muscle atrophy
  • numbness in the feet and/or legs
  • high steppage gait and/or "foot slapping" gait
  • foot drop - difficulty lifting the foot
  • loss of muscle control
  • loss of stretch reflexes


The diagnosis is made by a physician who may use a nerve biopsy or nerve conduction test to confirm the findings. Genetic testing may also be completed.


CMT is a progressive disease and therefore the weakness can continue to progress. It may lead to the inability to walk unassisted and the lack of sensation predisposes the person to injuries.