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Suggest treatment for post-polio syndrome

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Posted on Wed, 30 Mar 2016
Question: I have post polio syndrome it did not show up until I was 60 years old
I thought the more I exercise the better it would get. the result was the opposite.
What should I do? am now 78 years old and have arthritis also.


HOW MUCH EXERCISE IS to much?
I had some Ox condone left from my surgery took one this morning because my back hurts. Seeing my surgeon tomorrow, but he does not treat post polio syndrome

I spent 1998 13 months to work on the Hill in DC till I got appointment with Senator Arlen Specter, he was the Chair of Sub-Committee of Health and Human Services.
He worked hard on the issue and within 4 weeks all people who suffered with this decease got Social Security for the first time because it was not deemed an illness, My husband's best friend had this decease and no income for 4 years. Senator Arlen Specter made the Social Security Administration. I did not know at that time about myself. And was still full time employed by the Senator.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Read below

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Post-polio syndrome is not a well-recognized syndrome by many physicians and I appreciate your work to help in its recognition and inclusion in health care plans. Where I live there is still some work to be done and some convincing to do with bureaucrats.

Now regarding management, unfortunately not much progress has been made. There are several theories on its cause, but the main ones suppose it to happen merely as a consequence of aging in an already damaged nervous system. Since the polio bout already damaged a portion of the nerve cells their functions were taken over and compensated by the remaining cells. So the aging process since there is already a reduced reserve may be felt more in post-polio patients. Given that this is the main mechanism which has been proposed for this syndrome you may understand why no effective treatments have been found, treatment would mean to reverse aging. There are other theories on new viral infections but have not been proven.

So management remains physical therapy. It is advisable for it to be done with a professional physiotherapist. That is because as you yourself noted too much and not aimed exercising may not bring any benefit. It should be tailored to the individual’s reserve and muscles involved, the exercises should be non-fatiguing, allowing for periods of rest (preferably done every other day, not every day, and with rests between sets, avoiding loads for more than 4-5 secs in a row). As I said preferably the program and intensity should be appointed by a physiotherapist after evaluating your conditions, the involved muscles and their reserve.

Regarding medications, several being tested such as iv immunoglobulin, anticholinesterase medication, lamotrigine, amantadine etc, but need further studies and haven’t shown that much promise by the current data.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3669 Questions

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Suggest treatment for post-polio syndrome

Brief Answer: Read below Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. Post-polio syndrome is not a well-recognized syndrome by many physicians and I appreciate your work to help in its recognition and inclusion in health care plans. Where I live there is still some work to be done and some convincing to do with bureaucrats. Now regarding management, unfortunately not much progress has been made. There are several theories on its cause, but the main ones suppose it to happen merely as a consequence of aging in an already damaged nervous system. Since the polio bout already damaged a portion of the nerve cells their functions were taken over and compensated by the remaining cells. So the aging process since there is already a reduced reserve may be felt more in post-polio patients. Given that this is the main mechanism which has been proposed for this syndrome you may understand why no effective treatments have been found, treatment would mean to reverse aging. There are other theories on new viral infections but have not been proven. So management remains physical therapy. It is advisable for it to be done with a professional physiotherapist. That is because as you yourself noted too much and not aimed exercising may not bring any benefit. It should be tailored to the individual’s reserve and muscles involved, the exercises should be non-fatiguing, allowing for periods of rest (preferably done every other day, not every day, and with rests between sets, avoiding loads for more than 4-5 secs in a row). As I said preferably the program and intensity should be appointed by a physiotherapist after evaluating your conditions, the involved muscles and their reserve. Regarding medications, several being tested such as iv immunoglobulin, anticholinesterase medication, lamotrigine, amantadine etc, but need further studies and haven’t shown that much promise by the current data. I remain at your disposal for other questions.