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Post Polio Syndrome

more about Post Polio Syndrome


  • Post Polio syndrome is a neuromuscular disease that occurs in Polio survivors many years after recovery from the initial Poliomyelitis.

  • Newly developed muscle weakness and pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shrinkage of muscle bulk
  • Muscle twitching
  • Sleeping disturbance
  • Breathing difficulties due to a weakness of the respiratory muscle
  • Joint pain

  • About 1-2% of all Polio cases are caused by virus infections, damaging the nerve cells, eventually resulting in muscle weakness.  During the recovery, the remaining nerve cells spread branches and compensate for the damage.
  • Post-Polio syndrome appears about 20 to 40 years after the initial infection.  It is unrelated with the reactivation of the virus.  The exact cause is unclear, but it is believed that post-Polio syndrome is caused by the degeneration of the nerve branches that are formed at the time of initial Poliomyelitis.

  • A diagnosis is made by the history of Poliomyelitis and newly the developed symptoms and signs.
  • There is no single test that confirms the diagnosis.
  • It is difficult to diagnose the post-Polio syndrome, because other neuromuscular diseases show similar symptoms and signs in the early stages.
  • These include multiples sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, etc.

  • There is no curable treatment
  • A brace or mechanical equipment to support the muscle weakness
  • Medications for pain control
  • Modifying the level of activity and exercise
  • The duration and intensity of exercise should be individualized
  • If it causes pain or fatigue, stop the activity or exercise
  • Excessive activities may cause the destruction of the muscle




more about Post Polio Syndrome


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