Inherited peripheral neuropathies are among the most common genetic neuromuscular disorders worldwide. However, their diagnosis can be challenging due to genotypic and phenotypic variability. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), the most common form, is associated with mutations or copy-number variations in over 70 genes, representing proteins with fundamental roles in the development and function of Schwann cells and peripheral axons. Other genetic peripheral neuropathies are associated with multisystem manifestations, including familial amyloid neuropathy and neuropathies associated with metabolic or other genetic syndromes. This article reviews the most recent discoveries in the field and how they are changing the way neurologists diagnose this specific group of peripheral neuropathies.
In the past few years, several large cohort studies on the molecular diagnosis of CMT have been published, providing guidelines for genetic testing in clinical practice. In the same period, next-generation sequencing technology has accelerated the discovery of new CMT genes, expanding our knowledge on genotype-phenotype correlations.
Recent advances in sequencing technology and genotype-phenotype correlation studies are changing the way neurologists diagnose inherited neuropathies. New therapeutic strategies for familial amyloid neuropathy are paving the way for innovative treatments for genetic neuropathies.