Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation Names St. Luke’s as only Center of Excellence in the Region
October 28, 2016
Spokane, WA- The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) announced its national network of medical Centers of Excellence (COE), including St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute, for the hereditary neuropathy patient community, which includes those with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and other inherited neuropathies. St. Luke's is the only facility in the Northwest region named as a COE. HNF's goal for COE designations is helping and connecting patients with CMT or other neuropathies while also engaging in clinical research aimed at finding effective treatments and potential cures.
"Hereditary neuropathies like CMT are incredibly debilitating and degenerative, affecting sensory and motor nerves," said Dr. Gregory Carter, St. Luke's chief medical officer. "Having the HNF Center of Excellence designation gives St. Luke's the ability to provide access to specialized care while conducting research for improved treatments through clinical drug trials and ensuring access to organizations like HNF where patients can join in the effort to find treatments."
CMT is the most common form of inherited neuropathies, affecting 1 in 2,500 people or approximately 26 million males and females of any age worldwide. Although St Luke's offers rehabilitative and palliative care for CMT, this disease has no cure and causes progressive nerve damage. Early signs can include high arched feet, curled toes and claw-like hands. Many of these signs begin subtly and may go undiagnosed for years, leading to legs and arms becoming progressively more difficult to use. Those with CMT may have difficulty walking and become dependent upon assistive devices to remain mobile.
"Connecting our patients with individualized rehabilitation care, durable medical treatments and supportive therapies allows us to be an advocate for advancements in the search for treatments and potential cures along with our patients," Carter said. "Clinical drug trials available at St. Luke's work to increase the chances of providing patients the therapies and treatments they currently do not have."
St. Luke's is currently recruiting patients with CMT Type 1A (CMT1A) to participate in a study testing the effectiveness of an oral combination of three different drugs designed to target the genetic cause of CMT1A. If shown to be effective, this drug combination could become the first approved treatment that stops or slows the progression of the disease.
St. Luke's is the only Northwest research center participating in the study. Researchers at St. Luke's are looking for participants, male or female, who are between 18-65 years old with a proven genetic diagnosis of CMT1A. To learn more about this trial, including additional eligibility requirements, visit
and enter NCT02579759 in the search box.
If you are interested in participating in the study at St. Luke's, please call (509) 473-6234.
About St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
The region's largest, free-standing Level I Trauma Rehabilitation hospital for adults and pediatrics, St. Luke's provides comprehensive medical rehabilitation services for people of all ages who have experienced a stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation or other injury or illness requiring rehabilitative care. St. Luke's is accredited by Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International. Thousands of patients choose St. Luke's for inpatient rehabilitation services at the main campus and outpatient therapy services at nine locations throughout Spokane. For more information on St. Luke's visit:
About Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF)
HNF, a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization whose mission is to increase awareness and accurate diagnosis of CMT and related inherited neuropathies, support patients and families with critical information to improve quality of life, and fund research that will lead to treatments and cures. HNF developed the Therapeutic Research in Accelerated Discovery (TRIAD) program, a collaborative effort with academia, government and industry, to develop treatments for CMT. Currently, TRIAD involves many groups that span the drug discovery, drug development and diagnostics continuum.