Home Men Health TPP could also be an underrecognized reason for paralysis in young Hispanic men

TPP could also be an underrecognized reason for paralysis in young Hispanic men

TPP could also be an underrecognized reason for paralysis in young Hispanic men

Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP), a rare neurological condition causing limbs to go limp, could also be an underrecognized reason for paralysis in young Hispanic men, a review of knowledge by UT Southwestern Medical Center endocrinologists shows.

The rare paralysis disorder is found primarily in East Asian men. But a 16-year review of cases in Dallas through a hyperthyroidism registry identified 33 patients with TPP, making this the biggest known cohort with the disorder within the U.S. up to now. Of those identified, 85% percent were Hispanic males.

Our hope is that our research will raise awareness amongst clinicians about TPP in order that it will probably be more effectively diagnosed and treated. Moreover, we hope that our work will help future researchers investigate the underlying genetic and molecular causes of TPP and understand higher why it’s more common in some ethnic groups than others.”

Iram Hussain, M.D., Member of UTSW’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine within the Division of Endocrinology

UTSW is ranked 18th among the many nation’s top hospitals for diabetes and endocrinology care by U.S. News and World Report.

TPP is characterised by excessive levels of thyroid hormones circulating within the body, low potassium levels, and flaccid paralysis. Given the disorder’s historic prevalence within the Asian population, nevertheless, it is commonly not considered when diagnosing non-Asian patients who arrive on the hospital emergency department with paralysis.

Researchers reviewed medical records of patients diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and periodic or transient paralysis between January 2006 and February 2022 at Parkland Memorial Hospital and William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. Of the 33 patients with TPP, all were male with a median age of 28. Although hyperthyroidism is more common in women, TPP occurs more often in men.

The study, published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, also offers insights into managing TPP. Paralysis related to TPP is reversible with medication and is considered caused partly by genetic predisposition. One continuously reported complication in treating TPP is the administration of an excessive amount of potassium. Through their evaluation, UTSW researchers offer insights on the best potassium dosage for avoiding hyperkalemia.

“We consider that because the U.S. grows more diverse, clinicians need to concentrate on the evolving understanding of the epidemiology and treatment of this rare disorder,” Dr. Hussain said.

The hyperthyroidism registry, which incorporates data from Parkland, was created by Dr. Hussain and Marconi Abreu, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at UTSW and Medical Director of the Parkland General Endocrinology Clinic. Dr. Abreu was not involved within the study.

Other UTSW researchers who contributed to the study are Andrew Gulde, M.D., a third-year Internal Medicine resident, and Shuyao Zhang, M.D., an Endocrinology fellow.


Journal reference:

Gulde, A., et al. (2023). Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis: An Under-Recognized Reason behind Paralysis in Young Hispanic Men. The Journal of Emergency Medicine. doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2022.10.023.


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