Charcot Marie Tooth

By Carrie Henley Period 6 Digital Literacy 1/8/16


Some people may have thought that cancer was the only disease without a cure. If you think that, then you are wrong. Charcot Marie Tooth disease Is a foot disease without a cure. I want to create a Smore presentation to inform people on how Charcot Marie Tooth effects physical performance and how to fix it. I Chose to write about Charcot Marie Tooth because I am diagnosed with it.

How Charcot Marie Tooth Works

Charcot Marie Tooth disease is not contagious. Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) is more like a disorder. You can only get CMT if you had a parent with it and the genes were passed down to you. CMT is a disease that effects your peripheral nerves. These nerves connect the brain and spine to different parts of your body and control the ability to feel things. Inside of your ankles there is something called a myelin sheath, this is full of something called myelin that allows the nerves to contact your feet so you can feel things on them. In CMT the myelin in the myelin sheath starts to fade causing patients to lose feeling in their feet starting at the tip of the toe moving upward.


CMT has many symptoms and the symptoms stay the same based on what type of CMT you have. The types of CMT are all the same except for the gene altered to get the disease. The different types are: CMT1A, CMT1B, CMT4A, and CMT1X. Symptoms can be extremely severe or have small enough symptoms you don´t know you have the disease. The extremity of the symptoms is not inherited from parents, it can vary in anyone. You may have one sympton you may have every symptom. Some symptoms are: Muscle weakness, less flexibility, bone deformity, Loss of feeling in foot, High arches, and hammer toes. Some symptoms may be present in the wrist too such as: Weakness in wrist, making it harder to unscrew things, and less flexibility in wrist. In some cases of CMT it may lead to tingling, and sometimes pain but not typically. In more extreme cases CMT can lead to hip dysplasia, and scoliosis.

Being Diagnosed

Just having symptoms doesn't mean you have the disease. If you think you have CMT you should see a doctor who can diagnose you if necessary. In order to diagnose you the doctor will first check you for symptoms and see if you have a family history of the disease. Keep in mind though that CMT is not common and there are only about 200,000 cases per year world wide. That may seem like a lot but it is not compared to the 7.125 billion people in the world. If you have symptoms and a family history of CMT the doctor will need to take a genetic test. There are two ways to do a genetic test, you can get blood drawn which they will analyze in the lab to check for CMT. Or you can have an electric shock over some nerves to see if the nerves work correctly.

Life with Charcot Marie Tooth

Charcot Marie Tooth

The Cure

Sadly, CMT has no known cure. However there are ways to prevent further severity of the disease. According to The American College of Sports Medicine, ¨20-30 minuets of exercise every day is recommended.¨ These 20-30 minuets can be broken up into segments and don´t need to be all at once. The more exercise CMT patients get the stronger their muscles get. This is a counter for the symptom of weaker muscles therefore helps the kids have a better quality of life as an adult. No symptoms can be completely removed, exercise just slows the progression of the disease, this is still good so you don´t end up in a wheelchair or with ankle braces. Exercise machines can work just as well as playing outside, the most beneficial machines and ones that exercise the legs. Having the weakness in your ankles should not stop you from exercising. Physical Therapy can also help but does mostly the same thing as exercise. Other ways to prevent disease progression are: Special shoes, ankle orthopedics, splints, regular doctor visits, and surgery.

Different Names for Charcot Marie Tooth

  • CMT
  • Personal Muscle Atrophy
  • PMA
  • Charcot Marie Tooth Hereditary Neuropathy
  • Charcot Marie Tooth Syndrome
  • Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy
  • HMSN