Familial Periodic Paralysis

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

What is the definition of Familial Periodic Paralysis?

Familial periodic paralysis is a disease characterized by sudden attacks of weakness and paralysis. Weakness is recurrent, affecting mainly the limbs, and is often brought on by exercising or eating too many or too few carbohydrates. There are 4 forms of familial periodic paralysis: hypokalemic, hyperkalemic, thyrotoxic, and Andersen-Tawil syndrome. In the hypokalemic form, the paralysis is caused by low levels of potassium. In the hyperkalemic form, the paralysis is caused by high levels of potassium in the blood. In the thyrotoxic form, the paralysis is caused by low levels of potassium in the blood and an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). In Andersen-Tawil syndrome, potassium levels can be high, low, or normal. Mutations in the CACNA1S and SCN4A genes cause hypokalemic periodic paralysis. The hyperkalemic form is due to mutations in SCN4A gene. The underlying cause of the thyrotoxic form is unknown. Mutations in the KCNJ2 gene cause Andersen-Tawil syndrome. Treatment is focused on correcting the levels of potassium in the blood and preventing episodes with lifestyle changes. 

What are the alternative names for Familial Periodic Paralysis?

  • Genetic periodic paralysis

Top Global Doctors

Bertrand Fontaine
Paris, FR
Karin Rott-Jurkat
Albert, BW, DE
Said Bendahhou
Nice, 93, FR
Roope Mannikko
London, ENG, GB
Shih-hua K. Lin

Latest Research

Latest Advance
  • Condition: Primary Periodic Paralysis
  • Journal: Pediatric neurology
  • Treatment Used: Dichlorphenamide
  • Number of Patients: 73
  • Published —
This study tested the safety and efficacy of using dichlorphenamide to treat patients with primary periodic paralysis.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Familial hypokalemic periodic paralysis in pregnancy
  • Journal: The journal of obstetrics and gynaecology research
  • Treatment Used: Oral potassium
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
The study discusses a patients experience with familial hypokalemic periodic paralysis in pregnancy.

Clinical Trials

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.