Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Topic: Post-Polio Syndrome

  • Grandma Spiehs had polio when she was just a kid. Now she suffers from post-polio syndrome.
  • She has always had to get two pairs of shoes because her feet are different sizes. In fact one of her shoes has to get built up as well. For a long time now she's had to wear a brace as well.
  • She has to get her ankle fused early next year. That will require her to wear a shoe with a rocking sole on the bottom because her ankle will no longer move.
  • The late effects of polio refers to a group of symptoms and signs which people who had polio many years ago now experience and include weakness, fatigue, slowly progressive muscle weakness, joint pain, decreased endurance and new atrophy.
  • So far, there hasn't been any research done on specific nutritional supplements for post- polio syndrome. Today, there is no consensus, no position paper, no diagnostic test, no agreed-upon criteria about this syndrome, so there will be differences of opinion and some overlap.
  • There's not even a time frame; like if your a polio survivor, you could experience post-polio syndrome 20, 30, 40, 60 years after having polio its self. The time frame varies for everyone.
  • From a neurologist's point of view, post-polio syndrome has to begin in the spinal cord and brain stem with the original infection and destruction of motor neurons causing paralytic polio. The theory suggests that the polio virus is still present in the body and that it has been re-activated. In this instance taking several grams of vitamin C each day along with the selenium would also be helpful.
  • However, another theory of post-polio syndrome is that it's a further deterioration of neurons that were damaged by the original polio infection. If this is the case, selenium and vitamin C may not be of much help.

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