CIPD is a rare neurological disorder that creates inflammation of peripheral nerves and nerve roots and destroys nerves' protective covering, called the myelin sheath, according to the National Organization of Rare Disorders. The inflammation coupled with the damaged myelin sheath affects how fast nerves process signals and nerve fiber loss. These effects cause declining motor function, paralysis and weakness, usually in the arms and legs, and sometimes sensory loss.
CIPD, or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, is similar to the most common form of Guillain Barré syndrome, called acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, explains the National Organization of Rare Disorders. Unlike Guillain Barré, which progresses for about a month, resolves in a few months and rarely recurs, CIPD lasts longer than eight weeks and doesn't improve unless the patient receives treatment.
CIPD symptoms include progressive muscle weakness or sensory loss in muscles in both the hips and shoulders as well as the hands and feet, reports the National Organization of Rare Disorders. Some patients experience only sensory loss without the muscle weakness, which doctors classify as a variant of CIPD.
Men are twice as likely as women to develop CIPD, states the National Organization of Rare Disorders. It can occur at any age, with the average onset of symptoms at age 50. Although doctors don't know what causes CIPD, they believe it is an autoimmune disorder.