Parsonage Turner Syndrome
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Parsonage Turner Syndrome is not the name you expected.
Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS) is an uncommon neurological disorder characterized by rapid onset of severe pain in the shoulder and arm. This acute phase may last for a few hours to a few weeks and is followed by wasting and weakness of the muscles (amyotrophy) in the affected areas. PTS involves the brachial plexus, the networks of nerves that extend from the spine through the neck, into each armpit and down the arms. These nerves control movements and sensations in the shoulders, arms, elbows, hands, and wrists. The exact cause of PTS is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by an abnormality of the immune system (immune-mediated disorder). The severity of the disorder can vary widely from one individual to another due, in part, to the specific nerves involved. Affected individuals may recover without treatment, meaning that strength returns to the affected muscles and pain goes away. However, individuals may experience recurrent episodes. Some affected individuals may experience residual pain and potentially significant disability.
The initial descriptions of this disorder in the medical literature date back to the late 1800s. In 1948, Drs. Parsonage and Turner were the first physicians to describe a large series of patients. They termed the disorder ‘amyotrophic neuralgia'. There is an extremely rare, inherited form known as hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy, on which NORD has a separate report. Sometimes PTS is referred to as idiopathic neuralgic amyotrophy to distinguish it from the genetic form and to denote that the cause is unknown. However, usually PTS is simply referred to as neuralgic amyotrophy. PTS can be broadly classified as a form of peripheral neuropathy or disorder of the peripheral nervous system, which encompasses any disorder that primarily affects the nerves outside the central nervous system (i.e. brain and spinal cord).
American Autoimmune & Related Diseases
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Center for Peripheral Neuropathy
- University of Chicago
- 5841 South Maryland Ave, MC 2030
- Chicago, IL 60637
- Tel: (773)702-5659
- Fax: (773)702-5577
- Website: http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/
Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- 485 Half Day Road
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- Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
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Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
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NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
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For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
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Last Updated: 5/7/2014
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