As some patients with beta-thalassaemia manifested neurological signs, clinical and electrophysiological investigations were carried out on 53 thalassaemic patients and 29 healthy control subjects. Twenty per cent of the patients showed clinical and electrophysiological findings of a mild peripheral sensorimotor neuropathy, mainly of the lower limbs. The clinical symptoms were numbness, pins and needles sensations, muscular cramps, myalgia and muscle weakness. The electrophysiological abnormalities were manifested by decreased motor conduction velocity (MCV) and prolonged F-wave latencies of the tibial and the peroneal nerves. Borderline increase in the latencies of the sensory potentials of the median nerve was also observed. The electromyographic findings of the patients with diminished MCVs were compatible with a predominantly motor peripheral neuropathy. This neuropathy appears during the second and third decade of life.
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