Periodic Paralysis

Risk Factors

  • Assoc w/hypokalemia, hyperthyroidism, male, Asian, ages 20-40
  • Often precipitated by high carb meals, exercise, stress
  • Also a rare familial form (not assoc w/hyperthyroidism), w/male predominance, onset < 20

Symptoms

  • Legs > arms
  • Episodic profound weakness
  • Muscles affected often proximal
  • Duration minutes to hours/days
  • Intervals between attacks can be days to weeks to months
  • Consciousness preserved during episodes
  • No weakness between episodes

Physical Exam Findings

  • Weakness that's proximal > distal during episodes
  • May have findings of hyperthyroidism (tachycardia, tremor, etc)