Peripheral neuropathy is a type of damage to the nervous system. It occurs when there is a problem with a child's peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves that transmits information from the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body. It often causes weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet but can also affect other areas of the body.
Peripheral neuropathy has many different causes. Some may inherit the condition from their parents, others develop it because of an injury or medical problem such as kidney disease, vitamin deficiency, or diabetes.
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary. Motor neuropathy symptoms may include muscle weakness, cramps, muscle twitching, and loss of muscle.
Sensory neuropathy symptoms may include numbness, loss of sensation or feeling in body parts, loss of balance or other functions as a side effect of the loss of feeling in the legs, arms, or other body parts.
Autonomic neuropathy symptoms may include an inability to sweat properly or an abnormal sweating pattern, loss of bladder control, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation or incontinence related to nerve damage in the intestines or digestive tract, difficulty eating or swallowing, and life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or irregular heartbeat.