Post-polio syndrome

PPS, late effects of polio, LEOP, unstable polio, post-polio muscular atrophy, post-polio sequelae, post-poliomyelitis syndrome, post-polio sequelae

What is post-polio syndrome?

Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a non-contagious condition that can affect polio survivors decades after recovery from polio.

It is not a reactivation of the polio virus. PPS is a new deterioration of body function experienced by survivors of polio.

There is no test for Post-polio syndrome. PPS is diagnosed when all other possible conditions have been excluded.

What causes post-polio syndrome?

The exact cause of Post-polio syndrome is unknown. PPS is thought to be related to the deterioration of nerve cells in the body.

What are the symptoms of post-polio syndrome?

Overwhelming fatigue is a common symptom of Post-polio syndrome.

Many experience loss of muscle strength even in muscles thought not to have been affected by the original polio infection.

PPS can also affect reactions to medications and anaesthetics.

Other symptoms of PPS include:

  • Generalised fatigue
  • Pain in joints and muscles
  • New muscle or joint weakness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold intolerance that causes muscle weakness along with burning pain or discoloured limbs
  • Slow moving digestive system

Are you affected by post-polio syndrome

If you’re affected by post-polio syndrome, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with post-polio syndrome, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with post-polio syndrome from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with post-polio syndrome

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with post-polio syndrome? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including post-polio syndrome, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has a range of resources on post-polio syndrome, as well as many other disability related issues.

Visit the library to read:

Or search our library catalogue online here.

Support groups

Pain UK


Tel: 07534 494830


Social Media: Pain UK on Facebook

Other charities

Polio Survivors Network

British Polio Fellowship


Tel: 0800 043 1935