“Understanding and Living Well with Small Fiber Neuropathy” Webinar, A Success!

Updated November 18th, 2013

On November 16th, The Neuropathy Association -- in partnership with Transgenomic, Inc. -- hosted a web-based educational seminar that brought together over 300 people to better understand and cope with the day-to-day challenges of living with small fiber neuropathy (SFN). 

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The “Understanding and Living Well with Small Fiber Neuropathy” webinar -- featuring Drs. Shanna Patterson and Corey Hunter -- helped participants:

- Understand the relationship between small fiber neuropathy and neuropathy;

- Recognize the symptoms and signs of small fiber neuropathy;

- Understand the importance of getting an evaluation and accurate diagnosis of small fiber neuropathy;

- Appreciate the role of current and emerging (clinical research trials) approaches for diagnosing and treating small fiber neuropathy; and,

- Review the spectrum of pain management strategies. 

Many patients in our community present with large fiber neuropathies -- characterized by numbness, tingling, weakness, and loss of deep tendon reflexes -- that are confirmed with electrophysiologic studies (such as the electromyogram or EMG and nerve conduction studies). However, a more perplexing group of patients present with severe pain and inconclusive findings on clinical exam and electrophysiologic studies: many of these patients have small fiber neuropathy. 

Small fiber neuropathy (SFN) is a form of neuropathy that results from damage to the small unmyelinated peripheral nerve fibers that transmit messages to the skin, the cardiovascular system, digestive tract, and bladder, among others. The symptoms of small fiber sensory neuropathy are sensory in nature, including pins-and-needles, pricks, tingling, numbness, burning pain, and brief electric shock-like sensations. Involvement of the autonomic nerve fibers controlling the heart, digestive system, and/or bladder function is indicative of autonomic involvement.  

Dr. Shanna Patterson - 09/12

Shanna K. Patterson, MD is assistant director of Electromyography and a board-certified attending neurologist at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. She also holds an appointment at Columbia University as assistant clinical professor of Neurology. She completed her residency training in Neurology and a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology, with an emphasis on EMG and neuromuscular disorders, at Columbia University. In her clinical practice, she conducts initial evaluations for patients with neuropathy symptoms and also sees patients for more in-depth assessments of previously diagnosed idiopathic neuropathy. Dr. Patterson also serves on The Neuropathy Association’s Medical Advisory Committee.

Corey Hunter

Corey W. Hunter, MD is a pain management specialist at Ainsworth Institute of Pain Management.  He completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center and a fellowship in pain medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.  Dr. Hunter specializes in caring for people with disorders of the spine and peripheral nervous system, with a special interest in advanced interventional techniques and minimally invasive spinal procedures.  Dr. Hunter also serves on The Neuropathy Association’s Neuropathic Pain Management Medical Advisory Council. 

A special thanks to Drs. Patterson and Hunter for giving their expertise and time. And, a special thanks to the Transgenomic team for their support in making this educational program possible! 


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