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: https://healthcare.utah.edu/fad/mddetail.php?physicianID=u0763081&name=kelsey-barrell

To read the transcript, go to: https://www.bmtinfonet.org/video/managing-neuropathy-after-transplant-0

Highlights:

– 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: https://healthcare.utah.edu/fad/mddetail.php?physicianID=u0763081&name=kelsey-barrell

WHO WE ARE: BMT InfoNet is dedicated to providing patients and their loved ones with emotional support and high quality, easy-to-understand information about blood stem cell transplants (bone marrow, peripheral blood and cord blood) and other cellular therapies. Whether you are just beginning your transplant or cellular therapy journey, or learning to manage the joys and challenges of survivorship,

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