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Jaya Trivedi, M.D. Answers Questions On Periodic Paralysis

Jaya Trivedi, M.D. Answers Questions On: Periodic Paralysis

What is periodic paralysis?

Periodic paralysis is a very rare genetic disorder that can cause episodes of muscle paralysis, stiffness, or rigidity.

What causes the episodes?

Periodic paralysis is caused by the body’s reaction to potassium. For some people, the episodes are triggered by low potassium. For others, it’s triggered by high potassium. In either case, faulty ion channels in the muscle membranes cause the body to react poorly to potassium levels.

Is periodic paralysis curable?

No, not yet. It’s a lifelong condition. Unfortunately, repeated episodes over many years can cause a patient’s muscle structure to develop abnormally and create a permanent weakness. Because of this, treatments focus on reducing the number of episodes.

How do you diagnose periodic paralysis?

Few people in the country have expertise in this area, so patients come from all over Texas and other parts of the country to see me. My clinical evaluation includes both a physical exam and electrophysiological testing, called a prolonged exercise test.