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Chronic idiopathic polyneuropathy presenting in middle or old age: a clinical and electrophysiological study of 75 patients.
  1. N C Notermans,
  2. J H Wokke,
  3. H Franssen,
  4. Y van der Graaf,
  5. M Vermeulen,
  6. L H van den Berg,
  7. P R Bär,
  8. F G Jennekens
  1. Department of Neurology, University Hospital Utrecht, The Netherlands.


    The clinical and electrophysiological features were prospectively studied of 75 patients (46 men and 29 women) with chronic polyneuropathy presenting in middle or old age in whom a diagnosis could not be made even after extensive evaluation and a follow up of six months. The mean age at the onset of symptoms was 56.5 years. The clinical features of chronic idiopathic polyneuropathy are heterogeneous. On clinical grounds 44 patients had a sensorimotor, 29 patients a sensory, and two patients a motor polyneuropathy. The overall clinical course in chronic idiopathic polyneuropathy was slowly progressive. None of the patients became severely disabled. Electrophysiological and nerve biopsy studies were compatible with an axonal polyneuropathy. Antibodies against myelin associated glycoprotein, gangliosides, and sulphatides were assessed in 70 patients and found to be negative.

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