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Medical Term:

periodic paralysis


Definition: Inclusive term for three familial muscle disorders characterized by recurring episodes of weakness or flaccid paralysis without loss of consciousness or alterations in speech or sensation; the attacks typically begin when the patient is at rest and may last for an hour or so to a few days; between attacks, the patient typically enjoys good health; due to mutation of either the gene encoding the alpha subunit of the sodium channel of skeletal muscle on chromosome 17q23 (hyperkalemic period paralysis, normokalemic periodic paralysis) or to the gene that encodes the alpha subunit of the calcium channel on chromosome 1q31–q32 (hypokalemic periodic paralysis). The periodic paralyses are now grouped with the myotonic disorders, because all are ion channel diseases, or “channelopathies.”

See: hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, hypokalemic periodic paralysis, normokalemic periodic paralysis

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.