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Hi. My relative had polio when he was 6. Now, 12 years after recovery from initial attack, he`s been diagnosed with post polio syndrome. His muscles are getting weaker again and there is also a fatigue (generalized and muscular) and muscle and joint pain. I would like to hear more about the cause of PPS? Does it run in the family? Is he going to die?

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Hi, know that PPS is rarely life-threatening and not contagious to others. So far, the cause is unknown. Don`t know about the genes. But, the new weakness of PPS is probably related to the degeneration of nerve terminals in the motor units that remain after polio. Some studies have shown that PPS is a slowly progressing condition, with periods of stability followed by new declines. No cause, no treatment. There are no effective meds or treatments for PPS. Your relative should be informed about his condition all the time. Is he able to exercise? Exercise should help him, at least a bit.
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Post Polio is no longer a Syndrome. It is now referred to as Post Polio Sequalae. Upon contracting the initial virus, all motor neurons were affected. The ones which died left the 'residual' after effect of an atrophied limb, for example. The motor neurons which survived the initial attack mutated; thus, the mutated neurons had to work much harder to keep up with the normal body demands. These demands wear out the motor neurons and cause deterioration of the spinal horn cells. All systems of the body can be affected in a variety of ways. Many symptoms of PPS parallel symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis, ALS, MS, Fibromyalgia, etc. Although not altogether life threatening. the greatest risk occurs during sleep apnea. Many other things can occur such as Sjogren's Syndrome, Parathesias, Memory loss, CFS, and so on. Some research indicates the virus can remain dormant and revitalize and even mutate. Dr. Richard Bruno is one of the leading authorities on PPS and was instrumental in securing 100 percent disability for Social Security. Also, a great souce of research and information can be found on line through the Linconshire Network and the Harvest Center. I hope this answers some of your questions. A Polio Survivor with Post Polio
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