Are There Any New Treatments For PPS?
"Reprinted with permission from The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter Health after 50 @ Medletter Associates, 1999. To order a one-year subscription to the newsletter, please call 1-800-829-9170."
The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: HEALTH AFTER 50
Volume 10, Issue 11, page 8, January 1999

Published in association with The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
HOUSE CALLS welcomes questions of general interest. Address your questions to:
House Calls, HEALTH AFTER 50, 550 N. Broadway, Suite 1100, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD 21205-2011

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HOUSE CALLS [no author listed and no sources given]

Post-polio syndrome

Q Are there any new treatments for post-polio syndrome?

A Post-polio syndrome (PPS) -a disorder in which muscles previously injured by polio are further weakend-strikes between 25 and 50% of polio survivors. Symptoms include muscle and joint weakness or pain, fatigue, and cold intolerance, as well as problems sleeping, breathing, and swallowing.

PPS typically occurs decades after an initial bout with polio, possibly because never cells wear out after they take over for those damaged by polio.

Studies are under way to determine whether nerve-growth-stimulating factors might preserve existing neurons and their muscle connections, and drugs to ameliorate fatigue are being tested. But symptom management is the only current treatment.

Exercises done under doctor supervision can improve muscle strength. Fatigue may be lessened with rest; planning activities around energy highs and lows may help. A healthy diet and optimal body weight can also boost energy. Joint pain can be treated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Finally, psychological counseling may improve a patient's coping ability.

Copyright © 1999 Medletter Associates. All rights reserved.

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