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Guillain‐Barré syndrome (GBS) is a neurological disease which generally presents with worsening weakness and altered sensation and, not uncommonly, difficulties with breathing. It can cause long‐term disability which is amenable to rehabilitative treatment, delivered by a 'multidisciplinary' team that is made up of different disciplines (for example, doctors, nurses, therapists) working in a co‐ordinated and organised manner.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 6, 2010

Guillain‐Barré syndrome is an uncommon paralysing illness, usually caused when the person's immune system attacks their own nerves, which consequently become inflamed. In 25% of people affected, the disease leads to a need for artificial ventilation. About 5% of people with the disease die and about 10% are left disabled. Corticosteroids (such as prednisolone) reduce inflammation and so should reduce nerve damage.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 24, 2016

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of plasma exchange in people with Guillain‐Barré syndrome (GBS).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: February 27, 2017

Our aim in this review was to find out whether medicines for pain in Guillain‐Barré syndrome (GBS) are safe and effective.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 9, 2015

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a treatment in which antibodies from donated blood are injected into a person's vein. We wanted to find out whether IVIg can speed up recovery from Guillain‐Barré syndrome (GBS).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: September 19, 2014

We reviewed the evidence for drug treatment other than intravenous immunoglobulin, plasma exchange or corticosteroids for people with Guillain‐Barré syndrome (GBS) .

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 15, 2016

To assess the effects of treatments for fatigue in people with peripheral neuropathy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 18, 2014

Bell's palsy or idiopathic facial palsy is the most common disorder affecting the facial nerves and results in weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. The paralysis causes distortion of the face and interferes with normal functions, such as closing the eye and eating. It is thought to be caused by inflammation of the facial nerve.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: August 4, 2010

Bell's palsy is an acute disorder of the facial nerve, which produces full or partial loss of movement on one side of the face. The facial palsy gets completely better without treatment in most, but not all, people. Physical therapies, such as exercise, biofeedback, laser treatment, electrotherapy, massage and thermotherapy, are used to hasten recovery, improve facial function and minimise sequelae. For this updated review we found a total of 12 studies with 872 participants, most with high risk of bias. Four trials studied the efficacy of electrical stimulation (313 participants), three trials studied exercises (199 participants), and five studies combined some form of physical therapy and compared with acupuncture (360 participants). There is evidence from a single study of moderate quality that exercises are beneficial to people with chronic facial palsy when compared with controls and from another low quality study that it is possible that facial exercises could help to reduce synkinesis (a complication of Bell's palsy), and the time to recover. There is insufficient evidence to decide whether electrical stimulation works, to identify risks of these treatments or to assess whether the addition of acupuncture to facial exercises or other physical therapy could produce improvement. In conclusion, tailored facial exercises can help to improve facial function, mainly for people with moderate paralysis and chronic cases, and early facial exercise may reduce recovery time and long term paralysis in acute cases, but the evidence for this is of poor quality. More trials are needed to assess the effects of facial exercises and any risks.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 7, 2011

Bell’s palsy is a paralysis of the muscles of the face, usually on one side, that has no known underlying cause. The symptoms probably occur when a nerve in the face is trapped and swollen. People with Bell's palsy generally recover but there is a small group who do not. Some surgeons have thought that an operation to free the nerve could improve recovery. We did this review to assess the effects of surgery for Bell's palsy compared with no treatment, other types of surgery, sham (fake) treatment or treatment with medicines.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 16, 2013

Bell's palsy is a weakness of one side of the face that is diagnosed after other causes of facial weakness have been ruled out. It is a 'diagnosis of exclusion'. Bell's palsy may be caused by a virus affecting the facial nerve. Standard treatment includes steroids to help settle swelling of the facial nerve, whereas antiviral treatment does not appear to help. In hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the person undergoing treatment breathes 100% oxygen in a pressurised chamber for about one hour (called a 'dive'). This may produce more dissolved oxygen in the facial nerve and might reduce nerve damage in Bell's palsy. We searched for evidence from randomised controlled trials on hyperbaric oxygen therapy in adults with moderate to severe Bell's palsy. Our searches revealed no trials that met the inclusion criteria for the review. We found very low quality evidence from one trial to suggest that hyperbaric oxygen therapy might be beneficial for moderate to severe Bell's palsy. The trial involved 79 participants and compared hyperbaric oxygen therapy to prednisone, a corticosteroid, which is a proven active treatment. The participants did not know which treatment they were being given. Those treated with hyperbaric oxygen recovered more quickly and recovered normal facial movement more often (95% versus 76%). All participants tolerated the treatment well, and there were no major complications. The quality of evidence from this trial was very low because the assessors of facial function were aware of which treatment each participant had been given, which introduces a high risk of bias. There is therefore no high quality evidence on which to base conclusions about the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Bell's palsy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: February 15, 2012

Bell's palsy is a paralysis or weakness of muscles in the face, usually on one side, with no certain cause. Symptoms usually recover, although not always. Reducing inflammation of the facial nerve using corticosteroid medicines (steroids) is thought to limit nerve damage. This is an update of a review first published in 2002 and last updated in 2010.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 18, 2016

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of antiviral therapy alone or in combination with any other therapy, on Bell's palsy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 9, 2015

Fisher syndrome is an uncommon paralysing illness, usually caused by autoimmune inflammation of nerves following an infection. Fisher syndrome is characterised by impairment of eye movements, abnormal co‐ordination and loss of tendon reflexes. It is a variant of Guillain‐Barré syndrome. Unlike Guillain‐Barré syndrome, it does not cause limb or respiratory muscle weakness. In Western countries Fisher syndrome represents between 5% and 10% of Guillain‐Barré syndrome cases, but it is more common in Eastern Asia, for example 25% of cases in Japan. Bickerstaff's brain stem encephalitis shares many clinical features but also includes altered consciousness and signs of central nervous system inflammation. Treatment strategies tried have been immunotherapies such as plasma exchange or intravenous immunoglobulin which are used in Guillain‐Barré syndrome. This systematic review found no randomised controlled trials of treatments for Fisher syndrome, Bickerstaff's brain stem encephalitis or their variants. Observational studies suggest that Fisher syndrome always and Bickerstaff's brain stem encephalitis usually recovers completely. Randomised controlled trials are needed to establish the value of immunotherapies or other treatments.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 24, 2007

There is no evidence that treatment with ganglioside reduces disability after stroke. Drugs which can reduce disability in people who survive an acute stroke are needed. Gangliosides are a component of cells membranes and can protect neurons against injuries and enhance their growth. Ganglioside treatment has been tested in many clinical trials, mostly on patients with stroke. The results of these studies were inconclusive. This review shows that there is no evidence in favour of this treatment for patients with acute stroke. Gangliosides can rarely cause damage to nerves (acute neuropathy).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 23, 2001

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