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Posted by CCF NEURO MD on May 27, 1997 at 15:35:50:
In Reply to: Triglycerides as possible cause for PN posted by Ray Larner on May 12, 1997 at 23:23:08:
: I was diagnosed with PN late last year, and have had
the usual battery of tests with negative results.
At that time, however, I showed an extremely high (Over
900) triglyceride level. In 3 months I reduced this
to the low 300s. My neurologist saw no link
between this and PN. I have recently seen another
specialist who says that it may be relevant.
I am trying to find more information about this,
including a reference to a medical journal article if
possible. Can you provide any such information?
Thanks, Ray Larner
I believe the specialist you saw may have seen the article in Neurology1994;44:2185-2186 by McManis,P,, Windebank and Kiziltan from the Mayo Clinic "Neuropathy associated with hyperlipidemia", as well as the comments on the article in Neurology 1995;45:2119 by Kaufman, M, "Triglycerides and neuropathy". McManis and co-authors reported their experience of 6 patients with painful peripheral neuropathy of the small fiber type, who had triglyceride levels between 892 and 2,000 mg/dl and cholesterol levels from 209-401. The patients tended to have a distal sensory neuropathy which was painful, generally involving the feet but sparing the hands. Muscle strength and autonomic function was generally perserved. The authors point out that this is just their experience with patients in whom they could not find a cause of the peripheral neuropathy. A cause-and-effect relationship was not established as the authors pointed out. They suggested further studies to determine this. In only 1 patient did their symptoms improve after the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. I know of no further reports.
So, although up to 25% of all peripheral neuropathies are not found to have a cause, there are probably unknown factors which we do not yet know. My suggestion would be to treat your triglyceride level as you are and see if your neuropathy improves. For more information on peripheral neuropathies, feel free to browse some of the other answers previously listed. If you are interested in an opinion at the Cleveland Clinic call 1-800-223-2273 ext 45559 or 216-444-2200 ext 45559. In addition there are a number of organizations for people with peripheral neuropathy which are available on the web. I hope this information was helpful.
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