|What is Peripheral Neuropathy|
|Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms|
|Types of Peripheral Neuropathy|
|Evaluation and Tests|
|Treatment and Therapy|
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Types of Peripheral Neuropathy - Inflammatory
HIV / AIDS
It is estimated that nearly one-third of people with HIV/AIDS experience some peripheral nerve damage. While neuropathy is very common in patients with advanced HIV/AIDS, certain forms of neuropathy like Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) may affect patients in the earlier stages of the disease. For patients with HIV/AIDS, peripheral neuropathy can by caused by the virus itself, by certain drugs used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS or other complications, or as a result of opportunistic infections (e.g., cytomegalovirus [CMV], hepatitis C virus, varicella zoster virus (VZV), syphilis and tuberculosis). Neuropathy could also result from other associated causes, such as autoimmunity, heavy ethanol consumption and vitamin deficiencies (i.e. B12, B1, B6).
Other forms of NRTIs (3TC [Epivir®, AZT [Retrovir®], and abacavir [Ziagen®], along with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) and protease inhibitors, are not generally associated with peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy caused by these medications can often be treated by reducing the dosage or withdrawing the drug. Although it can take several months for the nerves to completely heal after discontinuing these treatments, the patient may start to feel better within a few weeks. In some cases, the nerve damage may be permanent.
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that HIV/AIDS patients usually experience include burning, stiffness, prickling, tingling, and numbness or a loss of feeling in the toes and soles of the feet. Sometimes the nerves in the fingers, hands, and wrists are also affected. Although relatively uncommon, pain above the ankles could indicate more severe nerve damage.
EVALUATION AND TESTS
(Not all evaluation and tests may be necessary.)
For peripheral neuropathy:
TREATMENT AND THERAPY
(Not all treatments and therapies may be indicated.)