School teacher Annie Cherian with Dr Rajesh Chaudhary (second from left) and her family members at Aster Hospital Sharjah

Sharjah: Aster Hospital Sharjah recently helped a 46-year-old school teacher regains control of her life and career through successful treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), a rare autoimmune disorder, which was leading to loss of physical strength and sensation.

Annie Cherian’s journey began six months ago when she started experiencing weakness in all four limbs, making daily activities like standing up from a squatting position or combing her hair challenging. This gradual worsening of symptoms led her to seek medical attention at Aster Hospital Sharjah.

After thorough investigations and diagnosis by Dr Rajesh Chaudhary, Specialist Neurologist at Aster Hospital Sharjah, Cherian was diagnosed with CIDP, a condition that affects approximately 1-2 per 100,000 people annually. CIDP is characterised by sensory loss, weakness, and loss of reflexes due to nerve damage. A rare autoimmune disorder, CIPD affects the peripheral nerves and may occur with other conditions like diabetes, chronic hepatitis, IBD, cancer among others. Basic symptoms can include problems in walking due to lack of strength, loss of sensation, trouble using arms and legs, sense of tingling or pain among others.

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Unique treatment dilemma

Dr Rajesh Chaudhary, Specialist Neurologist at Aster Hospital Sharjah explained: “ CIDP presents unique treatment dilemmas, particularly when co-existing with conditions such as diabetes mellitus. In Mrs. Cherian’s case, we had to carefully weigh our treatment options. Steroids, a common choice in CIDP management, were not viable due to their potential to exacerbate her diabetic status. This led us to explore alternative therapies, ultimately opting for Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG). While IVIG is highly effective in CIDP, its cost and monitoring requirements can pose significant challenges. Nevertheless, given its rapid relief potential and Mrs. Cherian’s positive response, IVIG emerged as the preferred treatment course.”


Expressing gratitude, Cherian said: “I am incredibly thankful to Dr Rajesh Chaudhary and the entire medical team at Aster Hospital Sharjah. Their expertise and care not only helped me recover remarkably and restore my strength but also made me aware of autoimmune diseases’ impact and the importance of timely medical intervention. Aster Hospital Sharjah’s dedication to patient care is commendable, and I thank them for giving me my life back.”

Rare disease

Researchers estimate that there are 0.8 to 8.9 new cases of CIDP per 100,000 people in the United States each year. This range is wide because CIDP can affect people in many different ways and is difficult to diagnose because of this. CIDP warrants early recognition and treatment, when appropriate. Left untreated, 30 per cent of CIDP patients will progress to wheelchair dependence.

Early diagnoses and proper treatment can avoid a significant amount of disability. Long term, relapses are expected, but remission is also possible. CIDP is a rare disorder that can affect any age group, and the onset of the disorder may begin during any decade of life. CIDP affects males twice as often as females, and the average age of onset is 50.