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This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  PTPiper 12 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #37353

    admin
    Keymaster

    I hear that anyone who was born in the forties (and even some people who were born in the early fifties) who was exposed to any of the

    polio epidemics of those times is at risk of developing “Post-polio syndrome”; “Since it’s possible to have a polio infection without having

    significant paralysis, many people who are unaware they ever had polio may now be suffering from post-polio syndrome.” – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio

    This can happen up to 40 years after the original infection, resembles natural ageing and it is hard to diagnos; fatigue is often the most disabling symptom; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-polio_syndrome

    As I was born in the forties I find this news slightly disturbing. Does anyone know if there is a reliable antibody test or any other test to screen for exposure to the polio virus?

    Regards,

    David McFarlane

    Ergonomist, WorkCover NSW

    Disclaimer

    Any recommendation concerning the use or representation of a particular brand of product in this document or any mention of them whatsoever (whether this appears in the text, illustrations, photographs or in any other form) is not to be taken to imply that WorkCover NSW approves or endorses the product or the brand.

    #42855

    bb
    Participant

    Let me first say that I am no expert but here is some musings on the question. We have two folks at our facility that have this and neither had any kind of test to determine anything. It seems to be a diagnosis based on a past polio occurrence and current symptoms such as those that you have mentioned. This seems to be a very loose cause and effect association.

    Isn’t the vaccine a less virulent form of the disease? I would think that this would make an antibody test problematic since most of the population would have been exposed.

    #42889

    admin
    Keymaster

    The triple vaccines against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus were the cause of paralytic polio infections in many of the children who were vaccinated prior to the end of 1949 (presumably the triple vaccines were contaminated with polio virus). See ” Paralytic Polio Linked To Vaccinations”;

    http://www.pnc.com.au/cafmr/online/vaccine/polio.html

    Hence it might be possible to detect whether a person has antibodies to all four of the diseases (diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio); presumably these people might be at risk of post-polio syndrome if they haven’t had polio already.

    Regards,

    David McFarlane

    Ergonomist, WorkCover NSW

    Disclaimer

    Any recommendation concerning the use or representation of a particular brand of product in this document or any mention of them whatsoever (whether this appears in the text, illustrations, photographs or in any other form) is not to be taken to imply that WorkCover NSW approves or endorses the product or the brand.

    #42944

    headma
    Participant

    David

    I had polio in November 1949 in Scotland, when I was 18 months old. While I don’t have the fatigue you mention, I do feel I don’t have the control over my foot I once had, and I am sure it isn’t related to age as I am fit and can do most things. It is an interesting concept and I am aware of older folk ending up in wheelchairs as a result.

    #43089

    [private user]
    Participant

    I really feel that the post polio syndrome is a misnomer. It is almost always diagnosed in the elderly popuation usually after a bout of illness of some sort and a brief hospitalization. People who had minimal strenght to begin with which was required for their functioning loose that strenght rapidly due to confinement to bed which prevents them from performing their previous duties. This leads to inability and debilitation and many of them do bounce back.

    #43096

    [private user]
    Participant

    In the few cases I have treated with post polio syndrome there seems to be a specific incident, pneumonia, UTI, or a high infection, that precipitates the onset of the symptoms. I agree with your assessment that the longer the patient stays in bed the more debilitated he becomes. I have also witnessed the recovery of function to be similar to the elderly population in general. More research needs to be completed it seems.

    #43104

    [private user]
    Participant

    Regarding the polio/post polio discussion, a hospital in Toronto Canada, called West Park Healthcare Centre, used to have a post polio clinic. I have since learned that they no longer have this clinic. However, a contact there offered the contact information below for a doctor who used to work there. He might be able to re-direct your enquiries. Hope this helps.

    Dr Lo at: [email protected]

    #43258

    PTPiper
    Participant

    This discussion goes back to Dec. of 06 put I want to add my 2 cents worth. in the past 3 months, I have had the opportunity to treat two clients with post-polio syndrome. Both these clients had significant paralysis during the 40’s but went on to lead very productive lives. One client has been w/c bound for the past 7 years due to extensive OA yet is very independent, including driving and managing her own w/c. In her case the post-polio syndrome set in after a fall and fracture. The other client remains independent in the community and was seen by Physical Therapy post femoral by-pass graft and resulting post-polio syndrome.

    What surprised me about these two cases is what appeared to me to be post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prior to their resent illnesses, both of these people were extremely motivated and independent. I behavior I assume they acquired from fitting back from the Polio. Now, both these client seemed overly fearful of the future and seem easily defeated.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem (first or second hand)?

    I would be interested in any studies regarding polio and PTSD.

    Thanks,

    Barbara Piper, PT Doctoral Student Boston University tDPT Program

    #38978

    julescg
    Participant

    No I don’t know of any antibody test?  But, my husband recovered from the polio virus in 1962, he was treated at LA county hospital.  we are unsure of his medical treatment. But, he successfully developed with minor right UE C7-8, T1 atrophy of the right thenar muscles and lost opposition of the thumb and grip.  he was forced to become left handed.  He became a competitive soccer player in high school, and it did not effect his lower extremities until he injured his right knee 3-5 years ago.  While playing on the weekend he tore his ACL and tore his quadriceps.  he recovered from those injuries, non-surgically.  But, 30 years latera while on vacation in San Felipe, Mexico he was exposed to some type of marine toxin, possibly through an open abrasion he had on the right lower leg. Within 4 hours a severe onset of throbbing pain of the whole right side of his body. I rushed him to the USA where he was treated with steroids and recovered after a week.   The doctors really could not identify the cause of the sudden onset of right sided lower and upper extremity pain. But, since then I have noticed him to have weakness of the right leg, and also almost like a hemiparesis of the leg. He is very functional but I do notice as he gets older, the fatigue is setting in and a disturbed sleep pattern.  He is quite active, but needs to take "cat naps" during the day to keep on going.   Whether, the weakness is from the ACL/Quad. tear vs. post-polio is indefinite.  Let me know if anyone has had similar experiences. 

    #39000

    kpetersen
    Participant

    David,
    I found your post very interesting and th responses as many of them almost seem opportunistic.  It seems difficult without a blood test of some sort to know what is related to aging per se versus a pre existing condition that with healthy function lies dormant but once mild or greater weakness is introduced the syndrome becomes more predominant.  I worked with a pediatric client who had polio from the vacination (about 15 years ago) who it would take very little illness or injury to cause a functional setback in his skills as his polio was signficiant. 
    Good luck on finding more quantitative data regarding late onset of the disease.
    Kelly Petersen, OTR, doctorate student

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