Multifocal Motor Neuropathy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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What Is Multifocal Motor Neuropathy?

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  • Are there any activities I won’t be able to do?
  • Treatment

    If your symptoms are very mild, you may not need any treatment. If you do need treatment, your doctor will probably prescribe a called intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). You’ll get the drug directly into one of your veins through an IV. You’ll usually get it in a doctor’s office, although you can learn to do it at home.

    If IVIg works, you should feel your muscle strength improve within 3 to 6 weeks. The effects will wear off over time, though, so you’ll need to keep having the treatment. People usually have it once a month, but it may be more or less often depending on your condition.

    IVIg doesn’t have many side effects, but it is expensive.

    Doctors are testing ways to give it directly through the skin like a regular shot, but this method isn’t available for everyone.

    If IVIg doesn’t work, your doctor may try a drug called cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), which is also used to treat certain types of cancer. This drug controls symptoms by turning down your immune system. Unlike immunoglobulin, cyclophosphamide can have bad side effects, so doctors try not to use it.

    Taking Care of Yourself

    If you get treatment for MMN early, you’re more likely to have few symptoms or long-term problems. Stick to your treatment plan, and talk to your doctor about any changes in how you’re feeling.

    If you have trouble with certain activities, you may want to see an occupational or physical therapist. They can help you keep your muscles strong and show you how to do daily tasks more easily if your muscles are bothering you.

    What to Expect

    Many people with MMN can continue most or at least some of their normal activities. The disease can get worse for some people and keep them from doing daily tasks.

    The kind of problems you have depend on which of your muscles are affected. If your hand muscles are weak, you may have trouble eating, typing, writing, or buttoning clothes. If your leg muscles are affected, you could have trouble walking. Some people with severe MMN have trouble in all these areas.

    Getting Support

    To learn more about multifocal motor neuropathy, visit the web sites of the Neuropathy Action Foundation, the Neuropathy Association, or the GBS-CIDP (Guillain-Barre Syndrome-Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy] Foundation International.