Working… Menu

Study of "Post-Polio Syndrome"

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00001185
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 4, 1999
Last Update Posted : March 4, 2008
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

Polio or poliomyelitis is the disease caused by the poliovirus. The virus attacks cells in the spinal cord and causes symptoms of fever, sore throat, headache, vomiting, and stiffness of the neck. Patients with polio can have long-term weakness of muscles as a result of the damaged cells in the spinal cord. Occasionally, patients that recover from the disease can experience a relapse of muscle weakness. This can occur as long as 25-35 years after first having polio. The condition is called "post-polio syndrome".

Not all nerve cells in the spinal cord are damaged by the poliovirus. Some nerve cells remain healthy and take over the work of the damaged cells. Researchers believe that the "post-polio syndrome" may be caused by failure of these overworked nerve cells. However, what causes these overworked nerve cells to disintegrate is unknown.

The purpose of this study is to apply specific scientific tests to answer important questions about the causes and development of the post-polio syndrome. Researchers will investigate possible genetic, immunologic, and physiologic causes of the "post-polio syndrome". The study itself will not provide therapy for patients with the condition, but may lead to the development of therapies in the future.

Condition or disease
Poliomyelitis Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome

Detailed Description:

"Post-polio syndrome" defines the new muscle weaknesses and the variety of new difficulties with daily living that some patients experience 25-35 years after maximum recovery from acute paralytic poliomyelitis. The new weakness appears to be due to disintegration of the distal nerve terminals of the surviving motor neurons whose soma has been stressed for years to maintain large motor units via excessive distal sprouting. The factors responsible for the disintegration of axonal sprouts and manifestation of the new weakness and fatigue are unknown. Whether an immune response to the poliovirus, immunogenetic, dysimmune or aging factors play a role in the pathogenesis of this process is also unknown.

The purpose of this protocol is to apply specific neuromuscular, electrophysiological, histological, virological, and immunological tests to answer pertinent questions regarding the pathogenesis of the post-polio syndrome. Studied patients will undergo a series of clinical neuromuscular evaluations, quantitative muscle testing, electromyography including single fiber EMG, immunogenetic, viral and immunochemical studies in the serum and spinal fluid, muscle biopsy and swallowing evaluation. Although this is not a therapeutic study, the information obtained would help us understand the pathogenetic mechanisms of the new weakness and could help us design possible therapies.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Observational
Enrollment : 360 participants
Official Title: Post-Polio Motor Neuron Disease: Clinical, Virological, and Immunological Studies
Study Start Date : June 1982
Study Completion Date : May 2003

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


Patients with prior history of a well documented acute paralytic poliomyelitis with or without development of new neuromuscular symptoms after a minimum of 15 years from the acute illness will be studied.

Patients will be screened in the outpatient clinic and will be studied as inpatients (or, if stable, as outpatients) for three day stay.

Severly disabled patients with unstable respiratory function or those who require intensive care nursing or respiratory assistance will be excluded from the study.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00001185

Layout table for location information
United States, Maryland
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00001185     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 820083
First Posted: November 4, 1999    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: May 2003
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Motor Neurons
Late Viral Infection
Motor Neuron Firing
Immune Defects
Post-polio Syndrome
Post-polio Motor Neuron Disease
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome
Motor Neuron Disease
Pathologic Processes
Enterovirus Infections
Picornaviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Central Nervous System Infections
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Spinal Cord Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Muscular Disorders, Atrophic
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases