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Autoimmunity may underlie newly discovered painful nerve-damage disorder

Autoimmunity may underlie newly discovered painful nerve-damage disorder

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An analysis of the medical records of patients treated at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for an often-mysterious condition involving damage to small nerve fibers supports the hypothesis that some cases are caused by autoimmune disease and also identifies the first effective treatment option. This report on 55 patients diagnosed with what appears to be autoimmune small-fiber polyneuropathy (SFPN) finds that treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin, used to treat other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, provided symptom relief and improved nerve function for most patients, allowing some to discontinue treatment.

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