Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Capabilities Sponsors Easter Seals Post Polio Conference on May 10, 2008

For more information contact Nancy at Easter Seals Colorado 303-233-1666 x237.

Easter Seals Colorado works with those with disabilities, including those with post polio syndrome or PPS. The organization sponsors numerous support groups throughout Colorado. You can find details and contact information on their website at eastersealscolorado.org.
Read more about post polio syndrome...

Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a condition that affects polio survivors years after recovery from an initial acute attack of the poliomyelitis virus. PPS is mainly characterized by new or renewed weakening in muscles that were previously affected by the polio infection and in muscles that seemingly were unaffected. Symptoms include slowly increasing muscle weakness, high levels of fatigue (both generalized and muscular), and, at times, muscle atrophy. Pain from joint degeneration and increasing skeletal deformities such as scoliosis are common. Some patients experience only minor symptoms. While less common, others may develop visible muscle atrophy, or wasting.

PPS is rarely life-threatening. However, untreated respiratory muscle weakness can result in breathing problems, and weakness in swallowing muscles can result in aspiration pneumonia.
The severity of weakness and disability after acute polio tends to predict the development of PPS. Patients who had minimal symptoms from the original illness will most likely experience only mild PPS symptoms. People originally hit hard by the poliovirus and who attained a greater recovery may develop a more severe case of PPS with a greater loss of muscle function and more severe fatigue. It should be noted that many polio survivors were too young to remember the severity of their original illness and that accurate memory fades over time.
According to estimates by the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 440,000 polio survivors in the United States may be at risk for PPS. Researchers are unable to establish a firm prevalence rate, but they estimate that the condition affects 25 percent to 50 percent of these survivors, or possibly as many as 60 percent, depending on how the disorder is defined and which study is quoted.

Patients diagnosed with PPS sometimes are concerned that they are having polio again and are contagious to others. Studies have shown that this does not happen.

Through years of studies, scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and at other institutions have shown that the weakness of PPS is a very slowly progressing condition marked by periods of stability followed by new declines in the ability to carry out usual daily activities.

At Capabilities we have an array of products, from wheelchairs, walkers and canes to products for everyday comfort and practicality, such as, pillows and adjustable beds, and strengthening tools to help you address the symptoms of PPS. Please contact us for details and suggestions.
Please leave a comment if you are a post polio survivor with one tip or product idea for someone else who is facing the challenge of PPS.

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