What Is Ganglionopathy Sensory Neuropathy?

Sensory neuropathy is a neurological disorder that involves the peripheral nervous system. There are several dozen types of sensory neuropathies. “Ganglionopathy”--literally, a disorder of the ganglia--is a feature of a few of them.


The sensory ganglia are found on the roots of cranial and spinal nerve cells. They provide connections between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (nerves that conduct sensation from the body to the brain, and orders for movement from the brain to the rest of the body).


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According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, infections can cause nerve damage by “provoking conditions referred to as autoimmune disorders, in which specialized cells and antibodies of the immune system attack the body's own tissues.” In its 2006 conference report, the institute said that ganglionopathies are more likely to be caused by autoimmune disorders.


Ganglionopathy can cause problems with balance, unsteady gait, numbness, tingling or a burning sensation. Symptoms often start in the hands or feet and move toward the trunk and face.


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A general physical exam that includes neurological and blood tests to look for underlying disorders may be followed by more specialized tests, including computed tomography or nerve conduction velocity tests.


Any underlying condition is treated first. Other treatment options involve pain medication, mechanical aids such as braces, or surgery to relieve pressure on nerves.