Familial periodic paralysis is a rare disease characterized by abrupt attacks of flaccid paralysis, without sensory loss or psychic disturbances of any sort, and from which recovery is complete. In about 80 per cent of cases the disease is hereditary. It is transmitted by both sexes, but males are affected twice as frequently as females. The etiology of the disease is unknown and postmortem examinations and biopsies have thrown no light on the condition.
The attacks may begin in childhood, but more often at puberty, and may be delayed until the age of 20 or 21. The onset is usually in the early morning and not uncommonly the patient awakes partially paralyzed, and complete paralysis develops. The muscles of the limbs are chiefly affected, the paralysis being as a rule symmetrical, but monoplegies and hemiplegias have been observed. The muscles concerned with speech, vision and deglutition usually escape, but the
Herrington MS. SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF TWO CASES OF FAMILIAL PERIODIC PARALYSIS WITH POTASSIUM CITRATE. JAMA. 1937;108(16):1339. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780160001009
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