Parsonage Turner Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Parsonage Turner Syndrome is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Summary

Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS) is an uncommon neurological disorder characterized by rapid onset of severe pain in the shoulder and arm. This acute phase may last for a few hours to a few weeks and is followed by wasting and weakness of the muscles (amyotrophy) in the affected areas. PTS involves the brachial plexus, the networks of nerves that extend from the spine through the neck, into each armpit and down the arms. These nerves control movements and sensations in the shoulders, arms, elbows, hands, and wrists. The exact cause of PTS is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by an abnormality of the immune system (immune-mediated disorder). The severity of the disorder can vary widely from one individual to another due, in part, to the specific nerves involved. Affected individuals may recover without treatment, meaning that strength returns to the affected muscles and pain goes away. However, individuals may experience recurrent episodes. Some affected individuals may experience residual pain and potentially significant disability.

Introduction

The initial descriptions of this disorder in the medical literature date back to the late 1800s. In 1948, Drs. Parsonage and Turner were the first physicians to describe a large series of patients. They termed the disorder ‘amyotrophic neuralgia'. There is an extremely rare, inherited form known as hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy, on which NORD has a separate report. Sometimes PTS is referred to as idiopathic neuralgic amyotrophy to distinguish it from the genetic form and to denote that the cause is unknown. However, usually PTS is simply referred to as neuralgic amyotrophy. PTS can be broadly classified as a form of peripheral neuropathy or disorder of the peripheral nervous system, which encompasses any disorder that primarily affects the nerves outside the central nervous system (i.e. brain and spinal cord).

Supporting Organizations

American Autoimmune & Related Diseases

22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668
Email: aarda@aarda.org
Website: http://www.aarda.org/

AutoImmunity Community

Website: https://www.facebook.com/autoimmunityforum

Center for Peripheral Neuropathy

University of Chicago
5841 South Maryland Ave, MC 2030
Chicago, IL 60637
Tel: (773)702-5659
Fax: (773)702-5577
Website: http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/

Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy

485 Half Day Road
Suite 200
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Tel: (847)883-9942
Fax: (847)883-9960
Tel: (877)833-9942
Email: info@tffpn.org
Website: http://www.foundationforpn.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

Neuropathy Association

60 East 42nd Street
Suite 942
New York, NY 10165
USA
Tel: (212)692-0662
Fax: (212)692-0668
Email: info@neuropathy.org
Website: http://www.neuropathy.org

Neuropathy Trust

PO Box 26
Nantwich
Cheshire, CW5 5FP
United Kingdom
Tel: 4401270611828
Email: info@neurocentre.com
Website: http://www.neurocentre.com

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  5/7/2014
Copyright  2014 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.