Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a syndrome that affects some people who have had polio (poliomyelitis) and occurs many years (typically from 10 to 40 years) after recovery from the initial infection. It is characterized by the development of progressive weakness in muscles that were affected by the original polio infection.
In addition, those affected may experience extreme fatigue and joint pain. Skeletal deformities, such as scoliosis, may occur because of this syndrome.
There is variation in the severity of symptoms. In severe cases, symptoms may mimic those of the rare disorder known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The degree of muscle atrophy during the post-polio period appears to reflect the severity of the impact of the initial polio infection. People who were significantly affected by polio are more likely to experience severe symptoms from post-polio syndrome. The cause of this syndrome is still unknown.
CPMR has the Southeast Michigan Polio support group here at our practice on the first and third Thursday of the month. Post-Polio support group meetings encourage the exchange of ideas among members and often feature guest speakers and presentations. In attendance of the support group, you will hear inspiring personal polio stories, receive the latest information on the southeast Michigan post-polio support group, information on brace maintenance and care, links to local vendors and doctors, 30+ years of polio perspectives newsletters, the contact information on various post-polio support groups, articles on the founding of the Michigan polio network, and even the ability to contact polio experts to get your questions answered.
For more information, please visit St John Post Polio Clinic (michiganpolionetwork.com) or contact the support group and facilitators.