Feb 2, 2013

Management of Postpolio Syndrome

Henrik Gonzalez MD a , Tomas Olsson MD bKristian Borg MD a
Postpolio syndrome is characterised by the exacerbation of existing or new health problems, most often muscle weakness and fatigability, general fatigue, and pain, after a period of stability subsequent to acute polio infection. Diagnosis is based on the presence of a lower motor neuron disorder that is supported by neurophysiological findings, with exclusion of other disorders as causes of the new symptoms. The muscle-related effects of postpolio syndrome are possibly associated with an ongoing process of denervation and reinnervation, reaching a point at which denervation is no longer compensated for by reinnervation. The cause of this denervation is unknown, but an inflammatory process is possible. Rehabilitation in patients with postpolio syndrome should take a multiprofessional and multidisciplinary approach, with an emphasis on physiotherapy, including enhanced or individually modified physical activity, and muscle training. Patients with postpolio syndrome should be advised to avoid both inactivity and overuse of weak muscles. Evaluation of the need for orthoses and assistive devices is often required.
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Feb 1, 2013

Trauma and Illness as Precipitants of Post-Polio Sequelae.

FROM The Post-Polio Institute and The International Centre for Post-Polio Education and Research 

Post-Polio Sequelae Monograph Series. Volume 10 (2). Hackensack: Harvest Press, 2000.
Trauma and Illness as Precipitants of Post-Polio Sequelae.
Dr. Richard L. Bruno
About once a month I get a call from an attorney somewhere in these litigious United States. I am asked to be the expert witness for a polio survivor who's been rear-ended in their car, hit by a bus, taken a header down some stairs or simply slipped and fell. Regardless of the type of accident, the lawyer always asks the same question: Can a traumatic event trigger Post-Polio Sequelae, the new and sometimes disabling muscle weakness, fatigue, pain and respiratory problems that occur is as many as 77% of polo survivors? And regardless of the type of accident, my answer is always the same: Yes and no. PPS is not a disease that is just waiting inside polio survivors for a trigger to set it loose to wreak havoc throughout the body. So trauma can't trigger a disease that is not there.
But our 1985 National Survey did show that PPS symptoms are caused by physically or emotionally stressing the poliovirus-damaged motor nerves that remained after survivors' original bout with polio. Many polio survivors have been able to function for 40 years with about half the spinal motor nerves of someone who didn't have polio. So breaking a leg in a fall, having major surgery -- even a whiplash injury -- could sufficiently stress the remaining polio-damaged motor neurons to "blow a fuse" When those fuses blow, neurons function less well and muscle weakness, fatigue, pain may result.

Many polio survivors are terrified about about losing function after trauma. One survivor said, "I am afraid if I fall and break something I will never walk again." Fear also causes polio survivors to postpone even necessary surgery because, as one survivor put it, "I know I'll never survive the anesthetic. I will spend the rest of my days in an iron lung."
Because of the fear that an injury or surgery could cause PPS, we wanted to find out just how many of our patients actually experienced new symptoms after trauma, what those symptoms were, whether they spread throughout the body and whether they were irreversible or treatable.
Surgery, Spills and Other Ills.
We reviewed the histories of 244 consecutive polio survivors evaluated by Kessler Institute's Post-Polio Service who had no other conditions that might cause new fatigue, weakness or pain. Of those patients, 44 (18%) said that their PPS began after a traumatic event. The typical patient was 59 years old and had polio at age 8 in the early 1940's. There were as many men as women reporting these post-traumatic PPS.
The traumas that preceded new symptoms included medical illnesses and surgeries (pneumonia, viral infection, hysterectomy, mastectomy with chemotherapy, pregnancy), fractures of the ankle, leg or hip, falls, auto accidents, and injury or surgery to the leg (ankle sprains, knee surgery, hip or knee replacement) or the back (herniated discs, laminectomies, spinal fusions)(see graph). The most common injury was to the leg (71% of patients) while 26% had back injuries. Regardless of the type of trauma or location of the injury, the most common symptom reported was new muscle weakness (55% of patients) followed by pain (34%) and fatigue (11%).
There was no evidence that new symptoms began in an injured area and then "spread" throughout the body. Seventy-one percent of patients had new symptoms only in the body area that had been injured, while 26% had symptoms in the injured area plus one other nearby location. For example, 40% of those who injured one leg developed weakness or pain in the other leg. This is a common problem for polio survivors, who compensate for injury to one part of the body by overusing another part whose nerves were also damaged by the poliovirus.

Only 5% of patients developed symptoms in more than two body areas. One patient who had a hip replacement reported "loss of muscle tone all over," while another who had been in a coma after an auto accident reported weakness in all of his muscles. Two patients who had had fractures, two with back injuries and one with an ankle injury reported new fatigue. However, no patient reported that their trauma "triggered" symptoms unrelated to
the injury, such as arm weakness after breaking a leg or difficulty swallowing following a knee replacement.
Can Post-Traumatic PPS be Treated?
All of the clinical experience and research on treating non-traumatic PPS supports one conclusion: If patients decrease physical and emotional stress their symptoms will at very least stop progressing and typically will get noticeably better. Does this hold true for post-traumatic PPS? There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that the majority (63%) of patients with post-traumatic symptoms refused treatment altogether or refused to complete therapy for their symptoms; more than twice as many post- traumatic PPS patients actually quit therapy. What might cause this? Seventy-seven percent of those who had a psychiatric diagnosis refused therapy, versus 53% of those without psychological problems. The most frequent psychiatric problem was a major depressive episode; 89% of those who were depressed refused therapy. Depression has been identified before as a significant cause of therapy refusal in polio survivors and highlights how important it is for psychological problems to be identified and treated if therapies for PPS are to even begin.
The good news is that 86% of patients regardless of the type of trauma or severity of their injuries had significant reductions in pain, fatigue and muscle weakness after complying with therapies known to be effective in treating PPS: reducing physical and emotional stress, using appropriate assistive devices, energy conservation, adequate rest and the pacing of activities.
The remaining patients experienced a reduction in some symptoms, especially pain, but continued to report muscle weakness or fatigue. Two patients who did not stop strenuous work or recreational activities reported
slowly increasing muscle weakness and pain over several years. Another patient who had been thrown to the floor of a van in 1995 reported that muscle strength and endurance in her legs increased only slightly after therapy even though her severe back pain has been eliminated. It is noteworthy that this patient had completely recovered from two previous traumas: a fall early in 1995 that fractured her lower right leg and another auto accident seven years before that herniated a disc. This patient's ability to recover from two previous traumas is also good news. For each of our patients who reported PPS symptoms after a trauma there was at least one other patient who had had the same trauma but did not develop PPS. So while trauma can be sufficient to cause PPS, PPS do not necessarily "cometh after a fall."
The Golden Rule
These findings in our patients should put polio survivors' minds at ease. Neither major surgery nor even a fall that causes a fracture will necessarily push polio survivors down a slippery slope toward total disability. Still, caution must be exercised since damaged motor neurons make polio survivors more susceptible to problems that typically do follow trauma. A leg that has been in a cast for months can become weak, as can the opposite leg that has had to take up the slack for its damaged partner. And bed rest after surgery can more easily cause deconditioning and fatigue in polio survivors.
However, post-traumatic symptoms in polio survivors should not be treated aggressively as they often are in those who didn't have polio. All PPS need to be treated carefully and slowly. Polio survivors and their therapists should not assume that a leg weakened after being in a cast has merely "been resting too long" and will respond to an aggressive program of weight lifting. Polio survivors who have had surgery should not be rushed out of bed to prevent deconditioning, because the lingering effects of anesthetic and post-operative pain are more likely to cause falls than to prevent fatigue.
Regardless of the cause of PPS the "Golden Rule" for polio survivors always applies: If an activity causes fatigue, weakness or pain, don't do it!" Doctors, nurses, and therapists must listen carefully to their patients -- and polio survivors must listen carefully to their own bodies -- to determine how much exercise or therapy causes fatigue, weakness or pain, and to stop before
those symptoms appear, so that therapy for PPS does not become just another type of trauma. The experience of our patients is that post- traumatic PPS are treatable if polio survivors follow through with therapy. But even more important is that many traumas can be avoided, like the falls and fractures caused by compulsive overdoing, ignoring new muscle weakness and refusing to use a needed brace, cane or crutch. For polio survivors physical overexertion, like pride, does goeth before a fall.
RESOURCES
The text of articles on the cause and treatment of PPS can be downloaded from the harvest center web site:

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Jan 31, 2013

In Roosevelt Birthday Balls and the Fight Against Infantile Paralysis


The Birthday Balls and the Fight Against Infantile Paralysis
FDR pictured receiving a birthday cake decorated with checks for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. January, 1942
FDR pictured receiving a birthday cake decorated with checks for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. January, 1942
FDR contracted polio in 1921 at the age of 39, and was paralyzed from the waist down. For the rest of his life, FDR was committed to finding a way to rehabilitate himself as well as others afflicted with infantile paralysis.
In 1924, FDR visited a rundown spa in Warm Springs, Georgia where it was said that the buoyant mineral waters had therapeutic powers. After six weeks, he was convinced that he had made more progress in his rehabilitation than at any time in the previous three years. He built a home for himself at Warm Springs.
In 1926 when the spa faced hardship, he purchased the facility for $200,000, creating a therapeutic center called the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. It opened its doors to patients from all over the country, providing medical treatment and an opportunity to spend time with others suffering the effects of polio.
FDR returned to politics, serving as Governor of New York from 1929-1932, and elected President in 1933. Even with the burdens of office, he regularly visited Warm Springs for treatment and rest, becoming known to the patients as “Dr. Roosevelt.” But the growing demands on the facility, and the increasing number of patients being treated there, required more money than FDR alone or a small number of contributors could provide.
At the suggestion of a public relations consultant, business magnate and FDR political ally Henry L. Doherty launched the National Committee for Birthday Balls that sponsored a dance in every town across the nation, both to celebrate the President’s birthday but also to raise money for the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation.
The first Birthday Ball was held in 1934, with 4,376 communities joining in 600 separate celebrations that raised over one million dollars for Warm Springs. Future Birthday Balls continued to raise about a million dollars per year, with contributions split between Warm Springs and the local communities where the balls were held.
In 1938, FDR created the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, not only to help Warm Springs but also the victims of polio throughout the country. To increase awareness of the campaign, radio personality and philanthropist Eddie Cantor took to the air waves and urged Americans to send their loose change to President Roosevelt in “a march of dimes to reach all the way to the White House.”
Soon, millions of dimes flooded the White House. In 1945, the annual March of Dimes campaign raised 18.9 million dollars for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Ultimately, the March of Dimes (as the National Foundation became known) financially supported the research and development of a polio vaccine by Jonas Salk in 1955, eradicating the disease throughout most of the world by the 1960s.
Franklin Roosevelt’s dedication to finding a cure for polio benefited millions of children worldwide. But it was the participation of Americans across the nation in Birthday Balls that made the campaign a success. Their hard work and financial support supported the development of new methods of treatment to improve the lives of those stricken with polio and the creation of a vaccine to protect future generations from its devastation. Although the Birthday Balls ended in 1945 with the death of President Roosevelt, both of their legacies live on in the March of Dimes.
Eleanor at FDR Birthday Ball at the Statler Hotel in Washington DC, with Red Skelton, William O. Douglas, Lucille Ball, John Garfield, and Maria Montez. January, 1944.
Eleanor at a FDR Birthday Ball at the Statler Hotel in Washington DC, with Red Skelton, William O. Douglas, Lucille Ball, John Garfield, and Maria Montez. January, 1944.




Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Jan 28, 2013

GlaxoSmithKline and the Hyderabad based Biologic E


Multinational drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline and the Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited have come together for early stage research and development of a six-in-one combination paediatric vaccine against polio and other infectious diseases.
The companies said they would form an equally-partnered venture to develop the vaccine that would help protect children in India and other developing countries. If approved, the vaccine could be a first of its kind, a GSK note said, as it would combine GSK’s injectable polio vaccine (IPV) and Biological E’s pentavalent vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (whole-cell pertussis), hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b.

FEWER INJECTIONS

The vaccine would enable fewer injections for children, thereby improving compliance in immunisation schedules. The fully liquid formulation of the vaccine also means it would be ready to use with no additional ingredients or materials required, freeing up space at local storage facilities.
The venture will bear the development costs for the candidate vaccine, which is expected to enter phase 1 development in the next two years. In phase 1 trials, the product is exposed for the first time to a small group of healthy human volunteers to evaluate the safety profile of the drug. A small initial cash investment will be made by both companies to cover start-up costs and subsequent development costs will be split equally, the note said.

FIGHT AGAINST POLIO

Christophe Weber, President of GSK Vaccines, said the agreement was aligned to GSK’s vision of providing quality vaccines to those in need and by leveraging Biological E’s strengths, this particular vaccine had the potential to play a significant role in the fight against polio.
Vijay Kumar Datla, Chairman Biological E, said that they expect to leverage the partnership to accelerate the development of the hexavalent vaccine and make IPV accessible for developing countries in the post-eradication phase for polio.jyothi.datta@thehindu.co.in

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