Inherited neuropathies: Clinical overview and update

Christopher J. Klein, Xiaohui Duan, Michael E. Shy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Inherited neuropathy is a group of common neurologic disorders with heterogeneous clinical presentations and genetic causes. Detailed neuromuscular evaluations, including nerve conduction studies, laboratory testing, and histopathologic examination, can assist in identification of the inherited component beyond family history. Genetic testing increasingly enables definitive diagnosis of specific inherited neuropathies. Diagnosis, however, is often complex, and neurologic disability may have both genetic and acquired components in individual patients. The decision of which genetic test to order or whether to order genetic tests is often complicated, and the strategies to maximize the value of testing are evolving. Apart from rare inherited metabolic neuropathies, treatment approaches remain largely supportive. We provide a clinical update of the various types of inherited neuropathies, their differential diagnoses, and distinguishing clinical features (where available). A framework is provided for clinical evaluations, including the inheritance assessment, electrophysiologic examinations, and specific genetic tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-622
Number of pages19
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Ataxia
  • Cerebellum
  • Neuropathy
  • Spinocerebellar
  • Triplet repeats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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