Getting Diagnosed

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The journey to getting diagnosed with Primary Periodic Paralysis can be a long one, often taking years and involving a multitude of diagnostic studies and misdiagnoses.1 Several symptoms, signs and test results can suggest alternative diagnoses.2 A significant number of these misdiagnoses are psychiatric conditions.1

However, it’s important to note that only 60% to 70% of patients with Primary Periodic Paralysis receive a positive genetic test.2

For the remaining 30% to 40% of patients with Primary Periodic Paralysis, diagnosis can be based upon clinical presentation, potassium levels in your blood during attacks, and pattern abnormalities on long exercise testing.2

If your genetic test comes back negative, one or more of the following tests could be utilized to help reach a diagnosis or rule out Primary Periodic Paralysis:

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Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)

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Electromyography (EMG)

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Compound muscle action potential (CMAP)

Speak to your doctor if you think you might have Primary Periodic Paralysis and would like a genetic test.

Find out more about Primary Periodic Paralysis


  1. Charles, B., et al  (2013). Characterization of hyperkalemic periodic paralysis: a survey of genetically diagnosed individuals. Journal of Neurology, [online] 260(10), pp.2606–2613. Available at:   [Accessed 1 Nov. 2023].
  2. Statland, J., et al (2017). Review of the Diagnosis and Treatment of Periodic Paralysis. Muscle & Nerve, [online] 57(4), pp.522–530. Available at:: [Accessed 1 Nov. 2023].

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