Guillain – Barre Syndrome

It is an autoimmune disease of unknown cause. There is an inability to transmit nerve signals to and from the brain, with a direct impact on muscle and reflex function.

It is presented at any age and concerns both sexes. It is a rare disease and occurs with a frequency of 1 or 2: 100,000 people.

First symptoms include numbness and weakness of the feet, which symmetrically diffuse throughout the body and upper limbs. In rare cases individuals are led to paralysis and problems in the respiratory and cardiovascular system, so they need immediate medical attention usually in Intensive Care Unit.

It has been found to occur frequently after a bacterial or viral infection of the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract or following vaccination. Symptoms can develop within a few hours or days or even weeks. From the onset of symptoms and within maximum 2 weeks weakness occurs, which within a week gradually subsides, giving the possibility of a complete recovery without excluding recurrence.

 

Diagnosis

  • Clinical examination and medical history taken by a specialist neurologist.
  • Neurophysiological examinations (eg, nerve conduction velocity test (NCV)).
  • Lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid examination.

 

Management

  • Plasmapheresis
  • Administration of immunoglobulins.
  • Administration of corticosteroids.
  • Treatment of individual symptoms – respiratory support, cardiac monitoring.
  • Physiotherapy and appropriate exercises to maintain flexibility and strengthen the limbs and avoid thrombosis (in paralysis phase).

 

To follow-up clinical trials for the disease, visit: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/home

 

References

 

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