Neuropathy is nerve damage. Vasculitis is inflammation of the lining of blood vessels which results in reduced blood supply & damage to the tissues supplied by those vessels. Every part of the body has to have a blood supply to provide oxygen & nutrients to the cells in the tissues and carry away waste products. This even includes nerves, each of which has its own blood supply. If that blood supply is reduced due to vasculitis, the nerve will suffer damage or death. Nerves have only limited power of recovery or healing. Each nerve consists of a bundle of fibres, rather like a fibre optic cable. Larger nerves comprise numerous bundles. Each bundle needs a blood supply.
Many vasculitis patients suffer from neuropathy, such as foot drop, loss of sensation in digits & limbs, or “phantom” pain such as burning feet.
There are basically three types of nerves – motor nerves, which control muscles, sensory nerves, which tell us about sensations such as hot/cold & touch; and autonomic nerves which control involuntary functions like blood pressure, bowel function, tears & sweating. All 3 types of nerves can potentially be affected by vasculitis.
Hitherto, nobody has investigated the extent & severity of vasculitis related neuropathy. Neurologist Dr Robert Hadden of Kings College Hospital, London has teamed with Professor Raashid Luqmani of Oxford to launch an in depth study of the incidence and severity of neuropaththy in vasculitis. They need your help.
Please complete this online survey and get their study under way.
This survey is totally anonymous, and open to people both in the UK and elsewhere.