Managing Neuropathy After Transplant

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Summary: Learn who’s at risk of developing various type of neuropathy after transplant, common symptoms and strategies to manage it.
Neuropathy (nerve damage) is common after high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Peripheral neuropathy can cause tingling or pain in the arms, hands, legs and/or feet. Other types of neuropathy can cause symptoms ranging from dizziness when standing, problems with digestion and urination to loss of balance, numbness, and muscle atrophy.

Presenter: Kelsey Barrell MD, Assistant Professor Neurology, University of Utah Health. Meet Dr. Barrell:

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– Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of neuropathy that occurs after transplant.
– Autonomic neuropathies affect involuntary bodily functions, like digestion and urination, and are sometimes confused with normal symptoms of aging.
– Exercise can actually cause new nerves to grow to replace damaged nerves.

Presented at the 2021 Celebrating a Second Chance at Life Virtual Symposium, April 17-23, 2021

Presentation is 38 minutes with 19 minutes of Q & A.

Key Points:

(02:03) Peripheral neuropathy tends to affect the longest nerves from the toes up through the knees, to the hands and arms.

(04:26) Autonomic nerve damage can affect balance, the digestive system, urination and sexual function

(05:41) Sometimes neuropathy can cause both too much sensation (pain) and not enough (numbness).

(09:08) Diagnosis of neuropathy can be done with a basic screening exam and confirmed with additional diagnostic tools.

(13:50) Neuropathy can affect quality of life with balance issues, chronic pain and psychological distress.

(15:59) Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy is common, but does not occur in all patients, or affect every patient in the same way.

(18:51) Bortezomib (Velcade®) causes neuropathy in 35-50% of patients.

(22:04) Tacrolimus and cyclosporine can cause optic neuropathy.

(26:15) Exercise can promote nerve regrowth and improve symptoms of neuropathy.

(29:53) There are treatments for pain caused by neuropathy, but not for the numbness.

Meet the speaker:

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