Explanation of names
CMT is an acronym for Charcot Marie Tooth, the surnames of the three doctors who first described CMT in the late 1800s: Frenchmen Jean-Martin Charcot and Pierre Marie; and Howard Henry Tooth from the UK.
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CMT has many other names, the most common being: Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN) – so called because it is passed on through families (hereditary) and affects both the motor and sensory nerves (neuropathy). Peroneal muscular atrophy (PMA) – so called because one of the muscles that is often first affected, becoming weaker and wasted (atrophy), is called the peroneus muscle, found in the shin. Today the term CMT is the most commonly used, although HMSN is still found in some medical literature. If you’d like to read more about the life and work of Jean-Martin Charcot, click here to read a fascinating document put together for us by Mr Paul Cooke.