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Post-Polio Syndrome and Erectile Dysfunction
A disorder known as PPS (post-polio syndrome) is a complaint that can affect polio survivors in later life. It presents as muscle weakness in a previous site where the polio infection first occurred.

Markers are shown as gradual muscle weakening, unexplained overall tiredness and occasionally muscular degeneration. This can affect patients with different degrees of disability. With the pain from degenerating joints, that can cause bone deformities like scoliosis, also muscle atrophy.

The respiratory system can also be affected and there are reports of swallowing difficulties, all due to muscle weakness. As the majority of polio survivors were children when they were stricken with the virus, it makes them too young to recall the severity of the first attack of the disease.

This is showing that those with few original symptoms are a experiencing a minor relapse, whereas the more severe the original ailment the more likely they are to develop worse symptoms. The reoccurrence of problems from the original poliovirus is thought to originate from it damaging certain neurons (the motor unit in nerve cells). The anterior horn cells and the brainstem, seem to be the central areas where new nerve terminals have evolved, as a self-help to repair and recover some mobility. This internal support system happening over the years, is of great strain to the body and can’t be sustained as eventually this leads to permanent and irreversible damage.

This could possibly be the reason for a fairly stable period of remission from the initial infection, with a slow progression to a relapse. It has been reported from male and female PPS sufferers, a significant problem with sexual dysfunction. In the case of men, erectile dysfunction can be helped by taking Viagra and Cialis, well-known treatments for impotency. It is not really known why sexual activity should be hindered by the reoccurrence of poliomyelitis. Even though muscle fatigue and pain induced by sudden movement, could be an obstacle, they are not aware of a cause for the erectile dysfunction.

 

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