Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to the peripheral nerves – nerves that carry information between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy occurs in about 2% to 8% of people and is more common as we age.
Peripheral neuropathy may be caused by a number of different medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, and nutritional deficiencies. Peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by medications and chemicals. It can interfere with the senses, with movement, or with the function of internal organs.
Damage to one nerve is called mononeuropathy, while damage to many nerves all at once is called polyneuropathy.