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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 129-134

Postpolio syndrome: A review of lived experiences of patients

1 Department of Microbiology, All Saints University School of Medicine, Commonwealth of Dominica, Roseau, Dominica
2 Department of Anatomical Sciences, University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adegbenro Omotuyi Fakoya
University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Basseterre
St. Kitts and Nevis
Esther Olunu
Department of Microbiology, All Saints University School of Medicine, Commonwealth of Dominica, Roseau
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijabmr.IJABMR_333_18

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Postpolio syndrome (PPS) refers to a group of conditions that are present in patients, years after recovery from initial acute paralytic poliomyelitis. About 15%–80% of 20 million polio survivors worldwide will experience exacerbation of symptoms which typically appear 15–30 years after the resolution of initial poliomyelitis. Symptoms include new muscle weakness, fatigue, myalgia, joint pain, dysphagia, and difficulty breathing. Other reported symptoms include cold intolerance, sleep disorder, dysphonia, loss of stamina, musculoskeletal deformities, cardiovascular disorders, psychosocial problems, and restless legs syndrome. These symptoms are attributed to the superimposed neuronal loss of aging with inflammatory mechanisms, but without any convincing evidence of viral reactivation. Risk factors include female gender, respiratory symptoms, normal aging, permanent disability caused by motor neuron damage, muscle overuse and disuse, aging, and immunologic mechanisms. Hypothyroidism-induced myopathy and fibromyalgia are a differential diagnosis for PPS, and exclusion diagnosis is required as confirmatory criteria for PPS. The symptoms of PPS presented determine the course of management.

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