Hi Alicia. No stupid questions. I’m not a scientist, so I’ll explain as best I understand it. Essentially the nerves connected to the muscles in my extremities (hands, wrists, feet, ankles — and moving inward) begin to degenerate. As they no longer feed impulses to those muscles, the muscles atrophy and weaken.
For research purposes (and I think because of an early misunderstanding of the mechanism that causes CMT), the disease is placed under the umbrella of Muscular Dystrophy. The symptoms are quite similar.
Hope that helps!