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Postpolio Syndrome Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
Updated: Sep 15, 2015

Diagnostic Considerations

These include the following:

  • Anemia
  • Chronic infection
  • Collagen disorders
  • Deconditioning
  • Depression
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Infectious myopathy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Weakness due to aging
  • Weight gain

Investigators initially believed that poliovirus could cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but there is no evidence of this risk. Studies that show an association between both pathologies are infrequent and are greatly outnumbered by negative reports. The role, if any, of nonparalytic polio and polio vaccines in ALS is not clear. With such a high proportion of the population having antibodies to polio, it may not be feasible to differentiate ALS with respect to the presence or absence of polio antibodies. Still, further long-term studies of the classical and Western Pacific forms of ALS with respect to past polio outbreaks are desirable.

Differential Diagnoses

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Loma Linda University School of Medicine; Medical Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pain Management, St Mary Corwin Medical Center

Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Colorado Medical Society, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Kat Kolaski, MD Assistant Professor, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Pediatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Kat Kolaski, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA Professor of Clinical Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program Director, Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans

Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Martin K Childers, DO, PhD Professor, Department of Neurology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Professor, Rehabilitation Program, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Martin K Childers, DO, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, American Osteopathic Association, Christian Medical & Dental Society, and Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Disclosure: Allergan pharma Consulting fee Consulting

Gerald J Herbison, MD Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Flor M Muñiz, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Flor M Muñiz, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Canadian Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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