Purpose of review: This review summarizes the genetic advances of hereditary sensory neuropathies and hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies, and provides information on phenotype-genotype correlation and on possible underlying pathomechanisms.
Recent findings: Hereditary sensory neuropathies, also known as hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies, are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders. These disorders are characterized by prominent sensory loss with acro-mutilating complications and a variable degree of motor and autonomic disturbances. Based on age at onset, clinical features and mode of inheritance, these disorders have originally been subdivided into five types. The identification of eight loci and six disease-causing genes for this group of disorders, however, has shown that this present classification has to be refined.
Summary: This review will discuss each of the different loci and genes of these disorders, showing glimpses into a possible underlying pathomechanism leading to the degeneration of sensory and autonomic neurons.