NORD gratefully acknowledges Mary M. Reilly MD, Professor of Clinical Neurology and Consultant Neurologist, Head of Division of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCL Institute of Neurology, London, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Hereditary sensory neuropathy type I (HSN1) belongs to a group of similar but distinct genetic disorders characterized by abnormalities affecting the nerves, especially of those of the hands and feet. These degenerative disorders of the nervous system (neurodegenerative disorders) are slowly progressive and predominantly affect the sensory nerves, which frequently leads to loss of feeling (sensation) in the hands and feet. This sensory loss is due to abnormal functioning of the sensory nerves that control responses to pain and temperature and may also affect the autonomic nervous system that controls other involuntary or automatic body processes. Specific symptoms can vary widely from one person to another. HSN1 occurs due to mutations in specific genes and is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. There are several subtypes of HSN1 designated A through E, each one associated with a different gene.
The hereditary sensory neuropathies (HSNs), also known as the hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies, include at least six similar, but distinct inherited degenerative disorders of the nervous system (neurodegenerative) that frequently progress to loss of feeling, especially in the hands and feet. Some of these disorders have several subtypes based upon the specific associated genes. The classification of the HSNs is complicated, and the experts do not always agree on it. Furthermore, HSNs are classified more broadly as peripheral neuropathies or disorders of the peripheral nervous system, which encompasses all of the nerves outside of the central nervous system. NORD’s Rare Disease Database has separate reports on HSN2, HSN3 (which is related to, or identical with familial dysautonomia), and HSN4.
The information in NORD’s Rare Disease Database is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician or other qualified medical professional.
The content of the website and databases of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is copyrighted and may not be reproduced, copied, downloaded or disseminated, in any way, for any commercial or public purpose, without prior written authorization and approval from NORD. Individuals may print one hard copy of an individual disease for personal use, provided that content is unmodified and includes NORD’s copyright.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Ave., Danbury CT 06810 • (203)744-0100