CIDP - Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
In this video Dr. Shaoulian describes what CIDP is:
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks its own nerves. During infancy the body's immune system learns to differentiate between self and non-self. This means that normally the body learns not to attack itself; It also knows when a foreign object like a virus or a bacteria has entered the body which needs to be destroyed. In autoimmune diseases, the recognition of self is lost and the body attacks itself. The nerves of the body are seen as a foreign object and attacked. If this occurs acutely then the illness is called Guillain-Barré and if it becomes chronic then it is called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP.
A nerve is very similar to a wire. Just like a wire, the nerves work with electrical impulses. In a wire there is the copper part that transmits the electrical signal and there is also a plastic insulation around the copper wire. The nerve itself acts like the copper wire, and there is an insulation around the wire that is called myelin. In CIDP, it is is the myelin that is affected first and in later stages of the disease the nerve itself is attacked. If we started treatment in the early stages were only the myelin is damaged, then the chances of recovery are much better as the myelin has very good regenerative properties.
The symptoms of CIDP are caused as a result of nerve injury. Although it could be a disabling condition, CIDP is a treatable condition. In order to provide effective treatment it is crucial to make the proper diagnosis, which could sometimes be difficult to make. We use the most advanced techniques to make the proper diagnose. Since the cause of the disease is immune mediated, to treat CIDP we use medications that modify the immune system. We could use a single treatment modality or a combination of modalities in the more difficult cases. Once we are able to stop the immune system's attack on the nerves, then the nerves are allowed to regenerate. With proper diagnosis and using the proper treatment modalities we have great success in the treatment of the most difficult cases.