Category: Illness or disabilities
Introduction and description
Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), sometimes called Landry's paralysis or Guillain–Barré–Strohl syndrome, is an acute polyneuropathy, a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system.
Ascending paralysis, weakness beginning in the feet and hands and migrating towards the trunk, is the most typical symptom, and some subtypes cause change in sensation or pain, as well as dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. It can cause life-threatening complications, in particular if the respiratory muscles are affected or if the autonomic nervous system is involved.
The diagnosis is usually made by nerve conduction studies and with studies of the cerebrospinal fluid. With prompt treatment by intravenous immunoglobulins or plasmapheresis, together with supportive care, the majority will recover completely.
Guillain–Barré syndrome is rare, at one to two cases per 100,000 people annually, but is the most common cause of acute non-trauma-related paralysis.
GBS - its causes and the observations associated with it are treated in the more general section Nervous system diseases.
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