Raise awareness and / or funds for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) comprises a group of disorders caused by mutations in genes that affect the normal function of the peripheral nerves.

CMT has nothing to do with the teeth. The disease is named for the three physicians who first identified it.

The condition is characterized by weakness of the foot and lower leg muscles, which may result in foot drop and a high-stepped gait with frequent tripping or falls. Foot deformities, such as high arches and hammertoes (a condition in which the middle joint of a toe bends upwards), are also characteristic due to weakness of the small muscles in the feet. In addition, the lower legs may take on an "inverted champagne bottle" appearance due to the loss of muscle bulk. Later in the disease, weakness and muscle atrophy may occur in the hands, resulting in difficulty with fine motor skills. Some patients experience pain, which can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms usually begin in late childhood or early adulthood and can vary:
* Usually, the initial symptom is foot drop due to involvement of the nerve that is responsible for raising the feet. This can also cause hammer toe, where the toes are always curled
* Wasting of muscle tissue of the lower parts of the legs may give rise to "stork leg" appearance
* Weakness in the hands and forearms occurs in many people later in life as the disease progresses
* Breathing can be affected in some; so can hearing, vision, and the neck and shoulder muscles
* Scoliosis is common
* Hip sockets can be malformed
* Gastrointestinal problems can be part of CMT, as can chewing, swallowing, and speaking (as vocal cords atrophy)
* A tremor can develop as muscles waste
* Pregnancy and emotional stress have been known to exacerbate CMT

There is no cure for CMT.

1. To raise awareness of this crippling disease