Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, encompasses a group of hereditary disorders that damage peripheral nerves, such as those in the arms and legs, according to Mayo Clinic. Muscle weakness and reduced muscle size are the main symptoms of the disease.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is not considered a fatal disease and generally does not shorten life expectancy, says the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The disease typically appears in adolescence or early adulthood with symptoms gradually progressing. Symptoms often affect the legs first and may affect hand muscles as the disease progresses. The severity of pain and symptoms varies from one patient to the next, with some requiring mobility devices such as leg braces.