Alcoholic polyneuropathy usually has a gradual onset with usually more sensory than motor symptoms, usually with the involvement of legs more than the arms. There is usually symmetric sensory loss, and painful paresthesias, though all sensory modalities may be involved. Patients also see distal weakness, muscle wasting, and decreased or absent deep tendon reflexes.
Treatment includes vitamin supplementation (especially thiamine), nutritional support, NSAIDs, and tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline). Physiotherapy is also a part of treatment. Recovery is slow, and usually happens over weeks to months.
- Woelk H, Lehrl S, Bitsch R, Köpcke W (1998). "Benfotiamine in treatment of alcoholic polyneuropathy: an 8-week randomized controlled study (BAP I Study)". Alcohol Alcohol. 33 (6): 631–8. PMID 9872352. http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=9872352.