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      Update on current and emerging treatment options for post-polio syndrome

      Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management

      Dove Medical Press

      polio, survivors, fatigue, aging, therapeutics

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          Abstract

          Post-polio syndrome (PPS) refers to the clinical deterioration experienced by many polio survivors several decades after their acute illness. The symptoms are new muscle weakness, decreased muscle endurance, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, cold intolerance, and this typical clinical entity is reported from different parts of the world. The pathophysiology behind PPS is not fully understood, but a combination of distal degeneration of enlarged motor units caused by increased metabolic demands and the normal aging process, in addition to inflammatory mechanisms, are thought to be involved. There is no diagnostic test for PPS, and the diagnosis is based on a proper clinical workup where all other possible explanations for the new symptoms are ruled out. The basic principle of management of PPS lies in physical activity, individually tailored training programs, and lifestyle modification. Muscle weakness and muscle pain may be helped with specific training programs, in which training in warm water seems to be particularly helpful. Properly fitted orthoses can improve the biomechanical movement pattern and be energy-saving. Fatigue can be relieved with lifestyle changes, assistive devices, and training programs. Respiratory insufficiency can be controlled with noninvasive respiratory aids including biphasic positive pressure ventilators. Pharmacologic agents like prednisone, amantadine, pyridostigmine, and coenzyme Q10 are of no benefit in PPS. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) has been tried in three studies, all having positive results. IVIG could probably be a therapeutic alternative, but the potential benefit is modest, and some important questions are still unanswered, in particular to which patients this treatment is useful, the dose, and the therapeutic interval.

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          Most cited references 72

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          EFNS guidelines for the use of intravenous immunoglobulin in treatment of neurological diseases: EFNS task force on the use of intravenous immunoglobulin in treatment of neurological diseases.

           B. Udd,  R Schaik,  N Scolding (2008)
          Despite high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is widely used in treatment of a number of immune-mediated neurological diseases, the consensus on its optimal use is insufficient. To define the evidence-based optimal use of IVIG in neurology, the recent papers of high relevance were reviewed and consensus recommendations are given according to EFNS guidance regulations. The efficacy of IVIG has been proven in Guillain-Barré syndrome (level A), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (level A), multifocal mononeuropathy (level A), acute exacerbations of myasthenia gravis (MG) and short-term treatment of severe MG (level A recommendation), and some paraneoplastic neuropathies (level B). IVIG is recommended as a second-line treatment in combination with prednisone in dermatomyositis (level B) and treatment option in polymyositis (level C). IVIG should be considered as a second or third-line therapy in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, if conventional immunomodulatory therapies are not tolerated (level B), and in relapses during pregnancy or post-partum period (good clinical practice point). IVIG seems to have a favourable effect also in paraneoplastic neurological diseases (good practice point) [corrected],stiff-person syndrome (level A), some acute-demyelinating diseases and childhood refractory epilepsy (good practice point).
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            EFNS guideline on diagnosis and management of post-polio syndrome. Report of an EFNS task force.

            Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is characterized by new or increased muscular weakness, atrophy, muscle pain and fatigue several years after acute polio. The aim of the article is to prepare diagnostic criteria for PPS, and to evaluate the existing evidence for therapeutic interventions. The Medline, EMBASE and ISI databases were searched. Consensus in the group was reached after discussion by e-mail. We recommend Halstead's definition of PPS from 1991 as diagnostic criteria. Supervised, aerobic muscular training, both isokinetic and isometric, is a safe and effective way to prevent further decline for patients with moderate weakness (Level B). Muscular training can also improve muscular fatigue, muscle weakness and pain. Training in a warm climate and non-swimming water exercises are particularly useful (Level B). Respiratory muscle training can improve pulmonary function. Recognition of respiratory impairment and early introduction of non-invasive ventilatory aids prevent or delay further respiratory decline and the need for invasive respiratory aid (Level C). Group training, regular follow-up and patient education are useful for the patients' mental status and well-being. Weight loss, adjustment and introduction of properly fitted assistive devices should be considered (good practice points). A small number of controlled studies of potential-specific treatments for PPS have been completed, but no definitive therapeutic effect has been reported for the agents evaluated (pyridostigmine, corticosteroids, amantadine). Future randomized trials should particularly address the treatment of pain, which is commonly reported by PPS patients. There is also a need for studies evaluating the long-term effects of muscular training.
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              Intravenous immunoglobulin for post-polio syndrome: a randomised controlled trial.

              Survivors of poliomyelitis often develop increased or new symptoms decades after the acute infection, known as post-polio syndrome. Production of proinflammatory cytokines within the CNS indicates an underlying inflammatory process, accessible for immunomodulatory treatment. We did a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of intravenous immunoglobulin in post-polio syndrome. 142 patients at four university clinics were randomly assigned infusion of either 90 g in total of intravenous immunoglobulin (n=73) or placebo (n=69) during 3 consecutive days, repeated after 3 months. Seven patients were withdrawn from the study. Thus, 135 patients were assessed per protocol. Primary endpoints were muscle strength in a selected study muscle and quality of life as measured with the SF-36 questionnaire (SF-36 PCS). Secondary endpoints were 6-minute walk test (6MWT), timed up and go (TUG), muscle strength in muscles not chosen as the study muscle, physical activity scale of the elderly (PASE), visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, multidimensional fatigue inventory (MFI-20), balance, and sleep quality. Outcome tests were done immediately before the first infusion and 3 months after the second infusion. This study is registered with , number NCT00160082. Compared with baseline, median muscle strength differed by 8.3% between patients receiving intravenous immunoglobulin and placebo, in favour of the treatment group (p=0.029). SF-36 PCS did not differ significantly between the groups after treatment (p=0.321). Differences in the subscale vitality score (p=0.042) and PASE (p=0.018) favoured the active treatment group. MFI-20, TUG, muscle strength in the muscles not chosen as the study muscle, 6MWT, balance, and sleep quality did not differ between groups. For the whole study population there was no significant change in pain, as determined by VAS. Nevertheless, patients who reported pain at the study start improved in the intervention group but not in the placebo group (p=0.037). Intravenous immunoglobulin was well tolerated. Intravenous immunoglobulin could be a supportive treatment option for subgroups of patients with post-polio syndrome. Further studies on responding subgroups, long-term effects, and dosing schedules are needed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2010
                2010
                21 July 2010
                : 6
                : 307-313
                Affiliations
                Neurocenter and National Competence Center for Movement Disorders, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Elisabeth Farbu, Consultant Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Stavanger University Hospital, N-4068, Stavanger, Norway, Fax +11 475 151 9916, Email elfa@ 123456sus.no
                Article
                tcrm-6-307
                2909497
                20668713
                © 2010 Farbu, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Medicine

                polio, survivors, therapeutics, fatigue, aging

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