Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a condition that affects
survivors. About 20%-40% of people who recover from polio will later develop PPS. The onset may occur 10-40 years after the initial polio attack.
The exact cause is unknown. It is not related to the original polio virus itself.
Instead, the syndrome is due to nerve and muscle damage that may have been caused by the original infection.
Factors that may increase your chance of developing PPS include:
Previous polio attack
Severe original polio attack
Later age at onset of infection
Symptoms may include:
Slowly progressive muscle weakness
Difficulty swallowing or breathing
Intolerance to heat or cold
If the symptoms during the first attack of polio were severe, the symptoms of PPS may also be severe.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A neuromuscular exam may also be done. PPS may be hard to diagnose because symptoms come and go. The symptoms may also overlap with other diseases.
Testing often involves electromyography. This measures how well your nerves and muscles are communicating.
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with an
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Post-polio syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Post-Polio-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet. Updated April 16, 2014. Accessed August 14, 2017.
What is post-polio syndrome? Post-Polio Health International website. Available at: http://www.post-polio.org/edu/pps.html. Accessed August 14, 2017.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.