Information for Patients
Peripheral Nerve Disorders
Your peripheral nerves are the ones outside your brain and spinal cord. Like static on a telephone line, peripheral nerve disorders distort or interrupt the messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
There are more than 100 kinds of peripheral nerve disorders. They can affect one nerve or many nerves. Some are the result of other diseases, like diabetic nerve problems. Others, like Guillain-Barre syndrome, happen after a virus infection. Still others are from nerve compression, like carpal tunnel syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome. In some cases, like complex regional pain syndrome and brachial plexus injuries, the problem begins after an injury. Some people are born with peripheral nerve disorders.
Symptoms often start gradually, and then get worse. They include
- Burning or tingling
- Muscle weakness
- Sensitivity to touch
Treatment aims to treat any underlying problem, reduce pain and control symptoms.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Taste and Smell Disorders
Our senses of taste and smell give us great pleasure. Taste helps us enjoy food and beverages. Smell lets us enjoy the scents and fragrances like roses or coffee. Taste and smell also protect us, letting us know when food has gone bad or when there is a gas leak. They make us want to eat, ensuring we get the nutrition we need.
People with taste disorders may taste things that aren't there, may not be able to tell the difference in tastes, or can't taste at all. People with smell disorders may lose their sense of smell, or things may smell different. A smell they once enjoyed may now smell bad to them.
Many illnesses and injuries can cause taste and smell disorders, including colds and head injuries. Some drugs can also affect taste and smell. Most people lose some ability to taste and smell as they get older. Treatment varies, depending on the problem and its cause.
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders