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Familial Periodic Paralysis

Familial periodic paralyses are a group of inherited neurological disorders caused by mutations in genes that regulate sodium and calcium channels in nerve cells. They are characterized by episodes in which the affected muscles become slack, weak, and unable to contract. Between attacks, the affected muscles usually work as normal.

The two most common types of Familial Periodic Paralysis periodic paralyses are:

Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is characterized by a fall in potassium levels in the blood. In individuals with this mutation attacks often begin in adolescence and are triggered by strenuous exercise or high carbohydrate meals. Weakness may be mild and limited to certain muscle groups, or more severe and affect the arms and legs. Attacks may last for a few hours or persist for several days. Some patients may develop chronic muscle weakness later in life.

Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis is characterized by a rise in potassium levels in the blood. Attacks often begin in infancy or early childhood and are precipitated by rest after exercise or by fasting. Attacks are usually shorter, more frequent, and less severe than the hypokalemic form. Muscle spasms are common.
 
 

Is there any treatment for Familial periodic paralysis?

Treatment of the periodic paralyses focuses on preventing further attacks and relieving acute symptoms. Avoiding carbohydrate-rich meals and strenuous exercise, and taking acetazolamide daily may prevent hypokalemic attacks. Attacks can be managed by drinking a potassium chloride oral solution. Eating carbohydrate-rich, low-potassium foods, and avoiding strenuous exercise and fasting, can help prevent hyperkalemic attacks

What is the prognosis for Familial periodic paralyses?

The prognosis for the familial periodic paralyses varies. Chronic attacks may result in progressive weakness that persists between attacks. Some cases respond well to treatment, which can prevent or reverse progressive muscle weakness

What research is being done abour Familial periodic paralyses

The NINDS conducts and supports research on neuromuscular disorders such as the familial periodic paralyses. These studies are aimed at increasing knowledge about these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Select this link to view a list of studies currently seeking patients.

Organizations tha help with Familial periodic paralysis

Muscular Dystrophy Association
3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
[email protected]
http://www.mdausa.org
Tel: 520-529-2000 800-572-1717
Fax: 520-529-5300

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 1968
(55 Kenosia Avenue)
Danbury, CT 06813-1968
[email protected]
http://www.rarediseases.org
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

Information provided by  National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

 
 
 
 
 
   

This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

05/27/2011

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