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Paraesthesia describes a number of abnormal sensations just about anywhere in the body. These include tingling, prickling, pins and needles, electrical-type buzzing, burning, skin crawling, itching, partial numbness (like feeling through tent-cloth) and a variety of neuropathic pains.

Most people are aware of paraesthesia when they trap nerves in their limbs by sitting badly. The resulting numbness and pins and needles resolve soon after the nerve is released. However, a number of peripheral and central nervous system conditions can cause chronic paraesthesia. These include diabetes, hypothyroidism, pernicious anaemia, alcoholism, heavy metal poisoning, carpal tunnel syndrome, encephalitis, tumours, transverse myelitis, stroke, transient ischemic attack, and multiple sclerosis.

Paraesthesia is an extremely common symptom of multiple sclerosis occurring in 87% of people with MS at some point during the course of their disease.

Paraesthesia Links:
NINDS Paresthesia Information Page
Paraesthesia from On-line Medical Dictionary
Sensory symptoms of multiple sclerosis
Paraesthesiae in multiple sclerosis
Different effects of 4-AP: pathogenesis of paresthesias

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