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What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

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17 Aug 2021

What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

Guillain-Barré Syndrome pronounced as Ghee-YAN Bah-RAY Syndrome is a rare, autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.

Most people recover, even those with severe cases. In fact, 85% of people with GBS make a full recovery within 6 to 12 months. l.

GBS can range from a very mild case with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving the person unable to breathe independently.


What causes Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

The exact cause of GBS is not known. Infection with Campylobacter jejuni, which causes diarrhea, is one of the most common risk factors for GBS. People also can develop GBS after some other infections, such as flu, cytomegalovirus,Epstein Barr virus and Zika virus.

The cause of GBS may also be inflammation of the peripheral nerves.


What are the symptoms?

Unexplained sensations often occur first, such as tingling in the feet or hands, or even pain (especially in children), often starting in the legs or back

In addition to muscle weakness, symptoms may include:

· Difficulty with eye muscles and vision

· Difficulty swallowing, speaking, or chewing

· Pricking or pins and needles sensations in the hands and feet

· Pain that can be severe, particularly at night

· Coordination problems and unsteadiness

· Abnormal heart beat/rate or blood pressure

· Problems with digestion and/or bladder control.



Acute care

There are currently two treatments commonly used to interrupt immune-related nerve damage. One is plasma exchange (PE, also called plasmapheresis); the other is high-dose immunoglobulin therapy (IVIg)

Supportive care is very important to address the many complications of paralysis

Rehabilitative care

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