Periodic paralysis is a congenital condition, meaning it is present from birth. Familial periodic paralysis is inherited, but may occur without a known family history. Periodic paralysis is caused by abnormalities of the electrolyte channels on muscles.
The inherited form of the disorder is autosomal dominant, which means that only one affected parent is needed to transmit the gene to the baby. When one parent is affected, the child has a 50% chance of getting the disease. Rarely, the condition occurs as a result of a noninherited genetic defect.
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