What is the definition of Wallerian Degeneration?
Wallerian degeneration is a condition that causes the loss of peripheral nerve function (peripheral nerve disease) through degeneration of nerve cells. This condition has two main causes: 1) degenerative diseases affecting nerve cells, such as Friedreich’s disease, and 2) traumatic injury to the peripheral nerves. Common causes of traumatic nerve injury are injuries that affect the central nervous system, such as cerebral infarction (stroke), hemorrhage (excessive bleeding), tumors, and head injury. Other causes are direct traumatic injuries to a nerve.
What are the symptoms for Wallerian Degeneration?
Symptoms of Wallerian degeneration (peripheral nerve disease) include neuropathic (nerve) pain, pain associated with certain stimuli, spontaneous pain, and sensory deficits, such as tingling, weakness, and paralysis.
What are the current treatments for Wallerian Degeneration?
The treatment for peripheral nerve disease depends on the type and extent of nerve injury. Some nerve injuries may recover on their own in time as the nerve cells regenerate. Most traumatic nerve injuries, however, are treated with surgical repair and may include the use of nerve grafts, nerve conduits, and fibrin sealants. More recently, researchers have been experimenting with stem-cell based therapy, which holds promise for future treatment.