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Post-Polio Health (ISSN 1066-5331)

Vol. 22, No. 4, Fall 2006

Have you heard about the article from Mayo Clinic about old polio survivors?

Some survivors expressed dismay at the conclusions highlighted in a press release entitled "Survivors of Childhood Polio Do Well Decades Later As They Age."


You can read for yourself the abstract from the Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, Vol. 11, Issue 3, page 241, September 2006, "Electrophysiological findings in a cohort of old polio survivors" by Eric J. Sorenson, Jasper R. Daube and Anthony J. Windebank.

If you want to know more, link here to purchase the complete article from Blackwell Publishing.

Polio survivors Marcia Falconer, PhD and Edward P. Bollenbach, BA, MA, Professor Emeritus in Biology, have sent a Letter to the Editor critiquing the article that they describe "as controversial not because of its actual findings, but because of the interpretation of its findings."

Members of Post-Polio Health International's Medical Advisory Committee assessed the article. Review their comments.

It is important to remember that in every study the numbers will conclude that a majority was "this" and a minority was "that." A headline that states childhood polio survivors "do well" does not mean that you as an individual polio survivor are doing well.

Reminder: PHI has many articles from past issues of Post-Polio Health (formerly Polio Network News) online listed by topic.

Research Report

ABSTRACT: A population-based cohort of poliomyelitis survivors was established and followed for 15 years (mean time since polio was 40 years). Over time, the cohort demonstrated a modest decline in summated compound muscle action potential amplitudes (CMAP) and a moderate decline in the summated motor unit number estimates (MUNE). There was no association between symptoms of late deterioration and magnitude of decline. Rather, the presence of these symptoms was associated with the magnitude of the residual deficits. Two patterns of neuron loss were modeled (linear and proportional decline). The summated MUNE was a more sensitive measure of loss of motor units than was the summated CMAP and appears to be a more valid measure of attritional loss of anterior horn cells. Of these two models of neuron loss, the proportional loss of motor neurons was a better fit of the data than a linear loss.

Published on behalf of the Peripheral Nerve Society, Inc.