Multifocal motor neuropathy

J Clin Neurosci. 2012 Sep;19(9):1201-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2012.02.011. Epub 2012 Jun 27.


Multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) was first described in 1988 as a purely motor neuropathy affecting multiple motor nerves. The diagnosis was based entirely on demonstrating electrophysiological evidence of a conduction block (CB) that selectively affected motor axons, with sparing of sensory axons even through the site of motor CB. Subsequently, a similar disorder was reported but with absence of demonstrable CB on routine nerve conduction studies and there is still some debate as to whether MMN without CB is related to MMN. MMN is thought to be an inflammatory neuropathy related to an immune attack on motor nerves. The conventional hypothesis is that the primary pathology is segmental demyelination, but recent research raises the possibility of a primary axonopathy. Anti-GM1 antibodies can be found in some patients but it is unclear whether these antibodies are pathogenic. Intravenous immunoglobulin is the mainstay of treatment but other immunosuppressive treatments can also be effective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Blocking / therapeutic use
  • Electromyography
  • Gangliosides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Motor Neuron Disease / complications
  • Motor Neuron Disease / diagnosis
  • Motor Neuron Disease / pathology*
  • Motor Neuron Disease / physiopathology
  • Motor Neuron Disease / therapy
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Polyneuropathies / complications
  • Polyneuropathies / diagnosis
  • Polyneuropathies / pathology*
  • Polyneuropathies / physiopathology
  • Polyneuropathies / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology


  • Antibodies, Blocking
  • Gangliosides