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neuritis

neuritis (nŏrĪˈtĭs, nyŏ–) [key], inflammation of a peripheral nerve, often accompanied by degenerative changes in nervous tissue. The cause can be mechanical (injury, pressure), vascular (occlusion of a vessel or hemorrhage into nerve tissue), infectious (invasion by microorganisms), toxic (metallic or chemical poisoning, alcoholism), or metabolic (vitamin deficiencies, pernicious anemia). Symptoms of neuritis that arise from involvement of sensory nerves are tingling, burning, pin-and-needle sensations, or even loss of sensation. If motor nerves are involved, symptoms may range from a slight loss of muscle tone to paralysis. Since neuritis is regarded as a condition that results from a number of disorders, rather than a disease in itself, treatment is directed first at the underlying cause. See neuralgia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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