Expert delivers answers for those inflicted with polio

Expert delivers answers for those inflicted with polio   

Rebuilding Lives, Empowering People and Preventing Injuries

Aninternationally known Post Polio Syndrome expert from the US will give a much-needed insight into the illness during Post Polio Awareness Week (3-9 August).
Dr William DeMayo, Medical Director of the comprehensive Post Polio Clinic at the John P Murtha Neuroscience and Pain Institute in Philadelphia, will share his vast knowledge about Post Polio Syndrome, including its symptoms, side effects and pain management techniques, via a video conference at the Spinal Injuries Association’s Woolloongabba office next Wednesday (5 August).
His talk will centre on the theme, Comprehensive Post Polio Assessment Clinics – do we really need them?
“As Post Polio Syndrome becomes more recognised in both medical circles and in the general community, an increasing amount of people worldwide are being diagnosed with the condition,” Dr DeMayo said.
“I’m looking forward to sharing what I know about the syndrome with a Queensland audience, as I’m aware there are six Post Polio Support Groups operating in regions throughout the state.
“By providing the audience with practical information about the condition, I hope to make a difference in their lives that will assist in easing the disability and pain of Post Polio Syndrome.”
Like most five-year-olds, Varsity Lakes resident Lyn Glover was full of energy, but when she was struck with polio in 1958, she spent a month of solitude while quarantined in hospital recovering from the insidious illness.
Polio did not really feature in Lyn’s life again for many years, until she broke her foot in 2006 and began experiencing the late effects of polio.
To highlight Post Polio Awareness Week (3-9 August), Lyn explains that polio is a viral disease that attacks the spinal cord and causes permanent or temporary paralysis.
“The nerves that were killed or damaged at the time of the initial virus attack when I was young were replaced by the development of compensatory nerves, which resulted in partial recovery,” she said.
“What is now believed to be happening is that those compensatory nerves are dying as the result of over use of muscles and joints and a return for many elderly people with polio to the wheelchairs, calipers and walking canes that many had long discarded.
“Many post polio sufferers are now experiencing considerable pain as the result of this reversal. The condition is called Post Polio Syndrome or known as experiencing the late effects of polio.”
Symptoms are varied but include muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, sleep and breathing difficulties.
The Gold Coast Post Polio Support Group formed in 2007 and Lyn is convenor of the group, which meets monthly to discuss issues ranging from healthcare advice to accessibility issues in the community.
Spinal Injuries Association CEO Mark Henley said it was a real coup for the organisation to host the live video conference with Dr DeMayo.
“Because Post Polio Syndrome and the late effects of polio are still relatively unknown, there are many people in the community with misconceptions, or who may not realise they have one of these conditions,” Mr Henley said.
“Dr DeMayo’s insight into Post Polio Syndrome will answer a lot of questions for many people.”
For more information on Post Polio Syndrome or your local Member Networks group, please visit www.spinal.com.au.
Issued 28 July.

Polio gone, but its impact on Albany Creek resident continues.

Albany Creek’s Dr Margaret Peel will later this month attend an international conference on polio survivors in Warm Springs, Georgia – the place where former US President Franklin D Roosevelt, who famously had polio throughout his presidential term, spent a lot of time rehabilitating and passed away in 1945.The Post Polio Health 10th International Conference: Living with polio in the 21st century, will draw approximately 400 people from around the world.Delegates will include those such as Dr Peel who has Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), people experiencing the late effects of polio and medical practitioners from a range of health fields. with polio as a child when the epidemic struck in 1951, Dr Peel spent many years working as a microbiologist and travelling extensively with manageable side effects from her childhood affliction until 10 years ago, when she was diagnosed with PPS

The side effects are different for everyone but can include progressive loss of muscle strength, joint and muscle pain, unaccustomed fatigue, cramping and in some instances, trouble swallowing and breathing,” Dr Peel said.

Increased sensitivity to cold temperatures, difficulty sleeping and a decline in the ability to perform basic daily activities are other symptoms of PPS.

Dr Peel said she would be travelling with several other Australians to the conference and hoped to hear about the latest research being carried out and useful advice on relieving PPS symptoms.

As the secretary of the Brisbane Post Polio Support Group, Dr Peel will then share her conference findings with other members of the group. PPS is still quite unknown in the general community, well-known people who had polio as children include Kim Beazley, John Laws, Janet Powell and the late Kerry Packer and Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

 1921, Franklin D Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio at the age of 39 but that did not prevent him from going on to become President of the United States.He worked tirelessly to fundraise for a polio vaccine and raised more than $25 million for the cause during his time in office.

Spinal Injuries Association CEO Mark Henley said the not-for-profit organisation had six Post Polio Support Groups (PPSG) located throughout Queensland.“Members share their experiences and provide support to each other as they deal with the late effects of polio,” Mr Henley said.“Because the condition is still quite new as the people who had polio in the 1950s begin to age, it can be a daunting time for our members.“Having other people to talk to who are experiencing the same symptoms is reassuring and decreases feelings of isolation and helplessness.“It’s important to remember that polio may be gone from Australia, but its impact on lives continues.”

Clasificación Internacional de Enfermedades Codifico al Síndrome de Post Polio con el Código G14 Síndrome Postpolio   Incluye :  Síndrome postpoliomielítico  Excluyéndolo del código B91Secuelas de poliomielitis

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