World Journal of
Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences

An International Peer Reviewed Journal for Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences
An Official Publication of Society for Advance Healthcare Research (Reg. No. : 01/01/01/31674/16)
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Abstract

A CLINICAL REVIEW ON: HYPOKALEMIC PERIODIC PARALYSIS-DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

Matsyagiri Lenkalapally* and Prapulla Putta, Jyothi CH

ABSTRACT

Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is a rare, autosomal dominant channelopathy characterized by muscle weakness or paralysis with a matching fall in potassium levels in the blood (primarily due to defect in a voltage-gated calcium channel). In individuals with this mutation, attacks often begin in adolescence and most commonly occur on awakening or after sleep or rest following strenuous exercise (attacks during exercise are rare), high carbohydrate meals, meals with high sodium content, sudden changes in temperature, and even excitement, noise, flashing lights and induced by cold temperatures. Weakness may be mild and limited to certain muscle groups, or more severe full body paralysis. Attacks may last for a few hours or persist for several days. Recovery is usually sudden when it occurs, due to release of potassium from swollen muscles as they recover. Some patients may fall into an abortive attack or develop chronic muscle weakness later in life. Diagnosis can be achieved through a specialized form of electromyographic (EMG) testing called the long exercise test. This test measures the amplitude of a nerve response (called the Compound Muscle Action Potential or CMAP) for 40 to 50 minutes following a few minutes of exercise. Treatment of hypokalemic periodic paralysis focuses on preventing further attacks and relieving acute symptoms. Avoiding carbohydrate-rich meals, strenuous exercise and other identified triggers, and taking acetazolamide (Diamox) or another carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, may help prevent attacks of weakness. Some patients also take potassium-sparing diuretics such as spironolactone to help maintain potassium levels.

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