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ConcernedGrl
06-01-2005, 01:28 PM
Hi, I have a question about PPS. I know it can affect muscles, but can it also affect your brain. Can it make a person react almost as if they have a mental disorder? All answers and suggestions will be greatly appreiciated.

alathea
12-07-2005, 07:58 AM
As someone with PPS it is difficult to be sure how much of my mental deterioration I feel is directly due to the PPS and how much is simply natural aging.

When the polio virus strikes the spinal cord it isn't just the anterior horm cells that get damaged, it affects the other end of the spinal cord as well so there will be damage in the Reticular Activating System. This is responsible for maintaining voluntary attention, memory, interest, initiative and the capacity for effort and work, and for preventing feelings of fatigue. This is the area that keeps us awake and allows us to focus our attention.

So as well as being tired physically one can easily become tired mentally. Because one is unable to think/act at the same level as previously it is also very easy to become depressed as well, this adds a further level of complication to finding a solution.

Some research was done in 2002 in Australia on Serum Carnitine levels in those with PPS and I've been taking Carnitine to help with my levels of tiredness and mental alertness. I personally find taking 2g of carnitine morning and late afternoon keeps me reasonably alert.

Most polio survivors are worried about fatigue complaining of problems with concentration, memory, attention, word finding staying awake, and thinking clearly. I'm not sure this is what you are describing as a mental disorder. I think if you overlay depression on this then it is likely that it could appear as a change of personality.

Many people consider that PPS may be a result of an inflammatory response to stress by the autoimmune system. To reduce any possibility of inmflammatory response increasing the amount of Omega 3 consumed would be a good idea. I take 3g of marine omega oil daily. In the UK ZIPVIT supply a high strength omega with 900 EPA/600DHA per 5ml so 2 tsps of that is all I need. Apart from benefits to the cardiovascular system it has an antiimflammatory effect but it also acts to stabilise mood so is helpful for anyone, like me, with depression.

To absorb omega into the cells Vitamin D is used, so a deficiency of vitamin D during the winter (when the sun is low in northern latitudes) may also result in low Omega levels in the brain. Using a sunlamp for 10-20 minutes daily will correct this or you will need to use vitamin D (cholecalciferol) supplements. We use about 3000iu of vitamin d daily so bear this in mind when buying the supplements. Vitamin D not only enables the uptake of omega but it also controls the immune response. If there was an uprising somewhere the government might send in crack troops to quell the fighting ruthlessly, these crack hit squads need to be under firm control otherwise they can be too enthusiatic and create more mayhem than they are quelling. So in your body once the autoimmune system has kicked in to reduce the inflamation it needs to be controlled firmly to ensure it doesn't do more harm than good. This is where having a high level of vitamin D circulating is helpful as it will not only improve your feeling of wellbeing and increase bone and muscle strength it will also keep the immune response under control to stop the body attacking itself.