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January 22, 1992

Postpolio Syndrome May Not Be Progressive

JAMA. 1992;267(4):479. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480040027005

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THE SYMPTOMS of fatigue, weakness, and pain that characterize the so-called postpolio syndrome—which a few years ago seemed to be growing more severe among persons who have had poliomyelitis (JAMA. 1986;255:1397-1399,1403-1404, 1541-1546, 1547)—may not continue on a downhill course.

This is the indication from the first 5-year follow-up of 10 persons in the 50-subject study of postpolio patients being conducted by the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

However, says Anthony J. Windebank, MD, professor of neurology and one of the study investigators, with only 10 patients evaluated so far, initial findings have to be taken cautiously. Nor do they shed any light on the etiology of the syndrome.

Windebank reported these preliminary results at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Washington, DC.

Postpolio Problems  The Mayo Clinic study was started by Mary B. Codd, MD, in response to widespread interest in the physical difficulties