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Famous People Who Had and Have Polio

By Disabled World

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route.

In fewer than 1% of cases the virus enters the central nervous system, preferentially infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis.

Spinal polio - The most common form of paralytic poliomyelitis; it results from viral invasion of the motor neurons of the anterior horn cells, or the ventral (front) gray matter section in the spinal column, which are responsible for movement of the muscles, including those of the trunk, limbs and the intercostal muscles.

Bulbar polio - Occurs when poliovirus invades and destroys nerves within the bulbar region of the brain stem. The bulbar region is a white matter pathway that connects the cerebral cortex to the brain stem. The destruction of these nerves weakens the muscles supplied by the cranial nerves, producing symptoms of encephalitis, and causes difficulty breathing, speaking and swallowing.

Bulbospinal polio - This subtype is also called respiratory polio. Here the virus affects the upper part of the cervical spinal cord (C3 through C5), and paralysis of the diaphragm occurs. The critical nerves affected are the phrenic nerve, which drives the diaphragm to inflate the lungs, and those that drive the muscles needed for swallowing.

Post-polio syndrome - Mainly characterized by new weakening in muscles that were previously affected by the polio infection and in muscles that seemingly were unaffected. Symptoms include slowly progressive muscle weakness, unaccustomed fatigue (both generalized and muscular), and, at times, muscle atrophy.

There is no cure for polio. The focus of modern treatment has been on providing relief of symptoms, speeding recovery and preventing complications. The polio vaccines developed by Jonas Salk in 1952 and Albert Sabin in 1962 are credited with reducing the annual number of polio cases from many hundreds of thousands to around a thousand.

Famous People Who Had and Have Polio

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