Firstly, this is not a single disease, rather a syndrome that can be caused by many different diseases. It is characterised usually by pain that begins in the distribution of at least 2 seperate nerve regions. It starts off affecting only a few nerves, usually asymmetrically, but will often progress to a more symmetrical picture as more nerves are involved.
Although pain is the common presenting complaint, any sensory or motor symptoms can present e.g. numbness, tingling, weakness, paralysis etc. While weakness and loss of bladder control are rarer, these symptoms can occur.
Common causes include:
- Vasculitides e.g. wegeners, Churg-strauss, GCA
- Rheumatological disorders e.g. SLE, RA, Sjogrens, Sarcoid
- Systemic infections (leprosy)