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July 1979

Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology Hershey Medical Center Hershey, PA 17033

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(7):453. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500430083021

To the Editor.—  Hypokalemic periodic paralysis has been treated in many ways, such as by the use of potassium supplements and spironolactone to increase the patient's level of potassium1 and most recently by the use of acetazolamide.2 This last method is thought not to alter potassium metabolism3 but rather to work through the creation of metabolic acidosis.4 However, one patient had documented hypokalemic periodic paralysis that was unresponsive to all of these modes of therapy.

Report of a Case.—  The patient, a 14-year-old boy, had been having frequent attacks of paralysis of varying degrees, which were sufficient to keep him home from school four to five times each month. The disease had been documented by a low level of potassium in the blood during the attacks, with a normal level of potassium at other times, in addition to the characteristic picture of exercise-induced and early morning