Post Polio is a condition that affects up to 8% of persons who survive paralytic polio; can develop as late as, 30, 40 years after the initial recovery; symptoms vary from mild weakness to severe fatigue and disability .
Traumatic brain injury causing neuropathic pain is unfortunately a daily reality for millions of Americans. This condition generally occurs after injury to the central nervous system and it is a malfunction in the nervous system that can become chronic. Individuals can suffer pain even from a light touch or suddenly feel freezing from slight changes in temperature.
Currently, researchers believe that neuropathic pain comes from spinal nerve cells that release the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and is responsible for preventing over excitation in the brain. In this case, GABA neurons have been damaged or completely disabled allowing for pain impulses to go out of control. If these GABA neurons could be kept alive after injury to the nervous system, it’s possible that an individual could forgo neuropathic pain.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have discovered a way to keep these neurons alive. They found that the key to keeping GABA cells alive is to keep oxidative stress at bay.
According to UTMB professor Jin Mo Chung, senior author of a paper on the research, “GABA neurons are particularly susceptible to oxidative stress, and we hypothesized that reactive oxygen species contribute to neuropathic sensitization by promoting the loss of GABA neurons as well as hindering GABA functions.”
The researchers tested this hypothesis by conducting experiments in mice that had been surgically altered to simulate the condition of neuropathic pain. In a particular experiment, they treated mice with an antioxidant for a week after surgical treatment to simulate neuropathic pain and compare them to mice that were untreated. These researchers report that mice treated with antioxidant demonstrated less pain-associated behavior and had more GABA neurons than untreated mice.
Chang reports that, “So by giving the antioxidant we lowered the pain behavior, and when we look at the spinal cords we see the GABA neuron population is almost the same as normal. That suggested we prevented those neurons from dying, which is a big thing.”
However, Chung also reported that there was one complication. There was a “moderate quantitative mismatch” between the behavioral data and the GABA-neuron counts. Apparently the anti-oxidant mice displayed less pain behavior but their behavioral improvement wasn’t as substantial as their GABA neuron count was higher than expected. He offers an explanation that the surviving neurons were somehow impaired which seemed to be supported by electrophysiological data.
At this time no clinical trials are planned, however, Chung believes that anti-oxidants have a great potential as a therapy for neuropathic pain. Chung adds, “If this is true and it works in humans — well, any time you can salvage neurons, it’s a good thing. Neuropathic pain is very difficult to treat, and I think this is a possibility, a good possibility.”
For 36 years, Mona Randolph, 82, has slept six nights per week in a 75-year-old, 700-pound and 6-foot-long iron machine . She couldn't breathe without it.
By Shelly Yang
It was the worst headache ever.
While waiting for a bus at 63rd and Paseo to take her home from work, Mona Randolph’s head felt like it was going to split open. She had a fever, chills. The sights and sounds of the world intensified. Her nerves were on edge. She was 20 years old, three days into a new job and three months away from getting married.
It was 1956. A year before, the government had approved a vaccine for polio, but kids were the priority recipients. An adult, Mona was thought to have been at little risk.
Today, she has limited use of her right arm, though the fine motor skills needed to feed herself peas or write letters to loved ones have left her in recent years. She hasn’t had the use of her left arm for more than 60 years. She gets around in a wheelchair.
When she describes her initial symptoms back in 1956, she even discusses it in musical terms.
“Everything was off-key,” she said. “I couldn’t stand to hear people talking in the kitchen. They’d whisper and it would hurt my ears. I couldn’t stand any light. Mom put blankets over the windows.”
After her bus trip home that day, she weakened more and more over the next several hours. On the second or third day, she couldn’t breathe. Doctors at St. Luke’s immediately put her in an iron lung.
“They happened to have one in the basement because people were not using them much then,” she said.
Getting into the iron lung takes more than an hour.
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For many years, she was able to live without the iron lung. Mona compares the paralysis to being trapped in the body of a newborn — except a baby can at least flail her arms and kick her legs. Becoming so dependent on others was a blow to an independent young woman in the prime of her life.
After her initial hospitalization, she received treatment at Warm Springs, Ga., the same facilities where Franklin D. Roosevelt was treated. When fellow patients gained more muscle use than she did, she was discouraged and depressed. Then there were those who were just left behind.
Over time, and with the unwavering support of family and friends, she was able to regain some semblance of an independent life.
In the ’80s, post-polio syndrome worsened her condition to the point where she had to go back to the iron lung at night. She describes breathing — something most of us don’t give a second thought — as an effort of concentration, like lifting weights.
During the day, she uses a modern respirator — a CPAP machine — but those alleged improvements in technology have their own problems. For one, they force air into her lungs. Hardly a comfortable feeling. And, though she and husband Mark Randolph own three of the contraptions, one’s almost always on the fritz.
The iron lung, on the other hand, creates a negative pressure inside that allows Mona’s chest to expand and contract more naturally.
Despite all the effort it takes to get into the iron lung, Mona Randolph has one word for being sealed up in the machine for the night: “Relief.”
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Getting into the machine every night takes more than an hour. It requires assistance from Mark, plus at least one friend, volunteer or hired hand.
Someone has to help Mona dress for bed. Someone has to get her into the sling that hoists her from her bed and swings her across the ceiling of her Waldo home and over to the 700-pound machine.
Someone has to cover her with blankets for warmth, adjust her arms and head and legs so she’s comfortable — a wrist resting on a pajama button in the wrong place can cause a fitful night’s sleep. Then someone has to tighten the seal around Randolph’s neck and turn on the half-horsepower machine that powers the thing, as it chug-chug-chugs all through the night like a slow-idling lawn mower.
In the morning, someone has to repeat the process in reverse after she wakes up.
This has been her routine for about 36 years.
Despite all this effort, she has one word for being sealed up in the machine for the night: “Relief.”
She won’t say much of her intended fiance from when she was younger, only that he “drifted away.” Mark and Mona met at a church dinner more than 30 years ago, and they may have discovered the secret to complete marital harmony.
“She gets the thermostat,” Mark said. “I get the remote control.”
In the movie of their lives, their “meet cute” moment came in the 1980s, when she was a sort of house mom for young women at their church and he was new in town. The women hosted dinners each Friday night for the young men who attended church.
Free spaghetti and the company of the opposite sex; it’s easy to see the appeal for a young bachelor.
Before each meal, the weekly tradition was to hold hands and say grace. Without thinking about it, Mark reached over with his right hand and did something few had done before: He grabbed her paralyzed left hand.
As Mark told the story, Mona smiled while breathing through her forced-air respirator.
With a gleam in his eyes, Mark said, “She noticed.”
Mona Randolph also uses a respirator during the day to help her breathe. The modern device is not as comfortable for her as the 75-year-old iron lung because it forces air into her lungs, which could be “irritating.” Mona got polio when she was 20 years old and has been suffering from post-polio symptoms since her 40s.
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Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article216798125.html#storylink=cpy
Since Di-Antalvic was withdrawn from the market in 2011, another painkiller has come to replace it in our pharmacies: Tramadol.
This medication is used by patients to deal with joint pain and back pain. Since its distribution, its side effects are meticulously monitored by the French Agency for Health Safety of Health Products and the balance has fallen: Tramadol has dangerous side effects.
Patients who used it regularly found a strong addiction to this opium derivative, sleep disturbances, vomiting, disorientation, depression, fatigue, and even kidney and intestinal problems were found.
Since the withdrawal of Di-Antalvic from the market, Tramadol is marketed in France under the same name, or as active ingredient of twenty other drugs such as Tropalgic, Contramal or Ixprim. A French patient who took it regularly confided: “Nobody had warned me of addictive effects. I increased the doses and became completely addicted. He escaped by stopping consumption, at the price of ten days of nightmares.
In short, Tramadol is not the first drug to make a scandal. Many have even been the # 1 cause of cancer and fetal malformation. If you can avoid this kind of medicine, do not take it. Your life is at stake.
Momentous global effort enables record-breaking milestone for polio and immunisation
A nurse prepares a dose of inactivated polio vaccine during the launch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in April 2015. Credit: Gavi/2015/Phil Moore.
Geneva, 9 May 2019 – After the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into Zimbabwe and Mongolia’s routine immunisation programmes with Gavi’s support, every country worldwide, including all 73 Gavi-supported countries, have now introduced the vaccine which protects children against the disease.
“The commitment displayed by countries to introduce this vaccine so rapidly has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This is an unequalled achievement, which took the combined efforts of the global health community, governments and thousands of health workers across the globe. It is a global milestone in the fight against polio and we should all be proud of this effort, which moves us closer to a polio-free world.”
By the end of 2017 Gavi, backed by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway and the United Kingdom, had helped more than 75 million children to be immunised against polio with IPV. Nepal became the first Gavi-supported country to introduce the vaccine in September 2014, just ten months after the Gavi Board agreed to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) efforts as part of the global effort to eradicate polio. Mongolia and Zimbabwe became the last countries to introduce the vaccine in April 2019.
“Introducing IPV into routine immunisation programmes is a critical milestone on our journey towards a polio-free world,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board. “It’s also vital that we use the infrastructure that has built up around polio immunisation programmes to ensure that all children receive other nationally-recommended vaccines. Achieving universal health coverage means making sure that all children, rich and poor, receive the same protection from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Polio is a highly contagious viral infection, mainly affecting children under the age of five, which can lead to paralysis or even death. Only three countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan – remain endemic to wild poliovirus.
“Pakistan has made important progress towards stopping polio in the country,” said Dr Zafar Mirza, Pakistan’s Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. “Case numbers are decreasing, and the immunity gaps continue to decline thanks to both IPV and the oral polio vaccine (OPV). However, in high-risk areas of the country, pockets of under-immunised children are allowing the virus to survive. Pakistan has an opportunity to end transmission this year, and to do that, we need to reach every single child with polio vaccines. Our Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is strongly committed to stopping transmission of the poliovirus and ensuring a polio free future for our children,” the minister added.
Thanks to global efforts and vaccination, since the beginning of 2019 only fifteen cases of wild poliovirus have been recorded in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Moreover, Nigeria, the third endemic country could be declared polio-free by the end of the year. Polio cases have fallen by 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases to 33 reported cases in 2018.
As part of the global effort to eradicate polio, all countries needed to introduce at least one dose of IPV per child and to begin the phased removal of OPV. As a first step, the poliovirus type 2 antigen was removed from OPV in April 2016 in a globally synchronis ed effort. At that time, not all countries had introduced IPV prior to this global switch as a result of constrained supply due to challenges faced by manufacturers when scaling up production capacities in line with the increased global demand.
Now that all countries have introduced IPV, efforts need to be targeted towards stopping transmission as well as strengthening routine immunisation to increase coverage which is a pillar of the polio eradication strategy. A new strategy setting out the roadmap to achieving a lasting world free of all polioviruses by 2023 is being presented to the World Health Assembly next month, with Gavi’s involvement in the effort being further strengthened and built upon.
IPV consists of inactivated (killed) poliovirus strains of all three poliovirus types. It produces antibodies in the blood to all types of poliovirus. In the event of infection, these antibodies prevent the spread of the virus to the central nervous system and protect against paralysis.
OPV has been the predominant vaccine used in the fight to eradicate polio. The attenuated poliovirus(es) contained in OPV can replicate effectively in the intestine but are around 10,000 times less able to enter the central nervous system than the wild virus. This enables individuals to mount an immune response. Virtually all countries which have eradicated polio used OPV to interrupt person to person transmission of the virus.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is supported by donor governments (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Principality of Monaco, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, Alwaleed Philanthropies, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., The Audacious Alliance, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, China Merchants Group, Comic Relief, Deutsche Post DHL, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, Girl Effect, The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), the Gulf Youth Alliance, JP Morgan, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Mastercard, Majid Al Futtaim, Orange, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, UPS and Vodafone).