Some polio survivors have experienced a condition that may resurface decades after the acute infection. Characterized by a gradual weakening and atrophy of muscles previously afflicted by polio, the condition, termed “post-polio syndrome,” seriously impedes quality of life. Although doctors are attempting to understand this condition, there is no consensus as to its cause. One theory contends that the nerve terminals, which previously grew to compensate for damaged cells following the viral attack, can deteriorate over time and obstruct neurological pathways. Although there is no known treatment for post-polio syndrome, many sufferers have formed groups to provide awareness, advocacy, and support.
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- Barton, Barbara Ann. “The relationship between adaptation to disability, and sexual and body esteem in women with polio.” PhD dissertation, Michigan State University, 2005.
- Kirby, Carol Ann. “Meeting disability with resiliency, hope and agency: A narrative study of caregivers of children with cognitive and physical disabilities.” PhD Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2013.
- McGowan, Kathryn Rosemary Brigidt. “A body history of polio-related impairments in the United States: How individuals’ experiences of their polio-related impairments responded to socio-cultural shifts in contemporary American society.” PhD dissertation, Case Western Reserve University, 2005.