Parsonage Turner syndrome

What causes Parsonage Turner syndrome?

The exact cause of Parsonage Turner syndrome is unknown. Researchers suspect that most cases are due to an autoimmune response following exposure to an illness or environmental factor. In many cases, no triggering event or underlying cause can be identified. Factors known to trigger some cases include:

Some researchers believe that Parsonage Turner syndrome is a multifactorial condition, which means that it is caused by an interaction between environmental and genetic factors. In this case, a person may have a genetic susceptibility to PTS due to one or more genes, but won't develop the condition unless they are exposed to certain environmental triggers (such as one or more of those listed above).

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is Parsonage Turner syndrome diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Parsonage Turner syndrome often is suspected based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. Specialized tests may be recommended to further investigate the shoulder pain and/or muscle weakness, and to rule out other conditions that can cause similar features. These tests may include nerve conduction studies (tests that determine the ability of a specific nerve to relay a message to the brain), electromyography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan), and/or an X-ray.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is Parsonage Turner syndrome inherited?

Parsonage Turner syndrome, also known as idiopathic neuralgic amyotrophy, is not inherited. However, there is an inherited form of neuralgic amyotrophy called hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy. This form is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with Parsonage Turner syndrome?

The long-term outlook (prognosis) for people with Parsonage Turner syndrome varies. Some people may experience only a single episode of pain, and fully recover the strength and functionality of their shoulder. Others may have multiple episodes throughout their lives. It has been reported that approximately 80% of people recover within 2 years of the start of symptoms, and approximately 90% recover within 3 years. Traditionally, it was believed that most people would recover around 70-90% of their original strength and function level. However, more recent research suggests that long-term complications are more common than previously thought. People with bilateral (affecting both sides of the body) involvement or multiple episodes are more likely to have a poorer prognosis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might Parsonage Turner syndrome be treated?

Treatment for Parsonage Turner syndrome varies based on the signs and symptoms in each person.

Pain medications may be prescribed depending on the severity of the nerve pain. After the acute phase, different medications known as co-analgesics may be administered. These include gabapentin, carbamazepine, and amitryptiline. These drugs specifically treat nerve pain. Other techniques for pain management include application of heat or cold, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (a method of pain relief in which a special device transmits low-voltage electrical impulses through electrodes on the skin to an area of the body that is in pain).

Many people with PTS have physical therapy and/or occupational therapy to maintain muscle strength and range of motion once the pain begins to subside. Surgeries such as nerve grafting or tendon transfer to restore movement and function to the shoulder muscles and joint may be considered if other treatment options are not effective.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) P.O. Box 850
Rocklin, CA, 95677-0850 , United States
Phone: 916-632-0922 Toll Free: 800-533-3231 Fax : 916-652-8190 Email: Url:
Name: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) 22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI, 48021, United States
Phone: 586-776-3900 Toll Free: 800-598-4668 Fax : 586-776-3903 Email: Url:
Name: The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy 485 Half Day Road Suite 350
Buffalo Grove, IL, 60089,
Phone: +1-877-883-9942 Fax : +1-847-883-9960 Email: Url:

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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