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July 1957

Periodic Paralysis Associated with Hyperthyroidism

Author Affiliations

U. S. Army

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(1):132-138. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260070146017

Periodic paralysis as described by Talbott1 is characterized by intermittent attacks of flaccid paralysis of the muscles of the extremities with loss of deep tendon reflexes and response to electrical stimulation of the motor nerves.2 During attacks there is an associated hypokalemia which responds to treatment with potassium salts. The paralysis usually begins peripherally with more profound involvement of the extensor muscles. It may be partial, complete, localized, or generalized. There is a normal sensorium and absence of sensory changes, and the paralysis rarely involves the muscles of deglutition and phonation or the eye. Temporary bradycardia, hypotension, dilatation of the heart, and increase in the size of the paralyzed muscles have been reported. The paralysis may be present for a few hours to two or three days, and recovery proceeds in the reverse direction to the order of onset. Approximately 80% 3 of the reported 4504 cases

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