Polio, Post-Polio


  • Infectious etiology-selective damage to anterior horn cells after setting of febrile illness.
  • Member of Picornavirdae family of RNA virus
  • Poliovirus type I is most frequent cause of illness, spread person to person.

Post Polio Syndrome

Common symptoms

  • Pain
  • Increased weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory dysfunction
  • Swallowing dysfunction

Various theories

  • Age related motor loss of motor neurons-greater weakness than expected due to reduced margin of safety.
  • Premature aging of normal or partially damaged neurons-surviving motor neurons unable to maintain cellular function over time.
  • Chronic poliovirus infection
  • Increased susceptibility of motor units to other insults.



  • 25-30 % patients with history of polio develop symptoms.

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