Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT)

Types of CMT

For axons and Schwann cells, communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Axons send chemical messages that attract Schwann cells and encourage myelin formation, and Schwann cells appear to send messages that nourish and protect axons. The various genetic defects that cause CMT often disrupt these interactions.

The many different types of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) are distinguished by age of onset, inheritance pattern, severity, and whether they're linked to defects in axon or myelin.


What is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)?

Illustration of systems affected by CMT
CMT causes degeneration of the peripheral nerves, leading to muscle weakness in the body’s extremities.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease


MDA leads the search for treatments and therapies for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). The Association also provides comprehensive supports and expert clinical care for those living with CMT.

In this section, you’ll find up-to-date information about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, as well as many helpful resources. This information has been compiled with input from researchers, physicians and people affected by the disease.

Research Briefs: Stem Cells

Stem cells are a hot topic these days in medicine, science and law, although the term has multiple meanings and it's easy to get confused.

In short, stem cells are cells at an early stage of development from which specialized cells, such as muscle or nerve cells, can develop (in other words, from which these specialized cells "stem").

Different kinds of stem cells are referred to as:

Researchers Exploring Disability Perceptions

Researchers at the Psychology of Disability Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are exploring the social identity of people with disabilities through a short, anonymous, Web-based questionnaire.

The lab's Disability Identity Project is being headed by principal investigator Adena Rottenstein, a doctoral candidate in psychology.

The study closes the week of Aug. 22, 2011.

Scholarships, Grants Available to People with Disabilities

(Update 9/14/11: The 2011 scholarship winners have been selected. To view a list of winners visit Applications for quality of life grants continue to be accepted and are awarded on an ongoing basis.)

Research Briefs: CMT, IBM, LGMD, MTM/CNM, Pompe disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

A two-year, large-scale trial of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in people with type 1A Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT1A) conducted in Italy and the United Kingdom has found the substance had no significant effect on the disease compared with a placebo. Ascorbic acid was taken orally at 1.5 grams per day in this study. An ongoing U.S.-based trial (now closed to recruitment) is testing ascorbic acid in CMT1A at a dosage of 4 grams per day for two years.

MDA Conference Brings Together Researchers, Clinicians, Industry

Moving therapeutic strategies from the laboratory to clinical trials and ultimately to the market as treatments was the theme of the MDA National Scientific Conference held March 13-16, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Some 300 people attended the conference, the first in a planned series of such MDA-sponsored meetings that will emphasize new research and current medical care. The majority of presenters and many of the audience members were current or former MDA research grantees or physicians at MDA-supported clinics.

Unconventional Pianist with CMT Hopes to Raise a Million

Amble playing a "techno music" piece that he composed when he was 9.