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Former President Bush battling leg paralysis, bronchitis

Former President George W. Bush, Sr. has been battling various medical conditions since November. The 88-year-old has been in a hospital's intensive care unit since Dec. 23 and is now afflicted with a form of leg paralysis, the sort of thing that a Tampa paralysis attorney deals with.

The leg paralysis was caused by a condition known as vascular Parkinsonism. The condition, as Bush describes, is like telling your legs to move, but they don't. It is unknown what caused the paralysis. The former president has been suffering from a bronchitis-like cough since November. Lately, he has also been suffering from a fever, which doctors have been unable to control so far.

Despite what seems like a grave condition, those closest to Bush are "cautiously optimistic" he will recover.

Paralysis can be caused by strokes or through damage to the spinal cord through accidents and falls. In some cases, medical negligence can cause paralysis as well. Paralysis can range from minor, for example, the person can still move and control his or her limbs to a large degree, to severe, in which he person has no feeling in his or her limbs and cannot control their movements.

Paralysis can lead to secondary medical conditions, such as bed sores, bladder and bowel problems, shortened muscles and blood clots. Although paralysis is typically not reversible, there are things to help minimize the effects, such as prostheses and medication to improve nerve function. Those who suffer from paralysis should discuss the condition with their doctor to discuss their medical options.

Source: FOX Bangor/ABC 7, "George Bush Sr. -- Condition Worsens ... Moved to ICU ," Dec. 26, 2012

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