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Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a medical condition in which there is a rapid-onset weakness of the limbs as a result of an acute polyneuropathy, a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. The disease is usually triggered by an infection.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body.

These symptoms can increase in intensity until the muscles cannot be used at all and the person is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases, the disorder is life threatening and is considered a medical emergency.

The individual is often put on a ventilator to assist with breathing. Most individuals, however, have good recovery from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), although some continue to have some degree of weakness.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is rare. Usually Guillain-Barré occurs a few days or weeks after the person has had symptoms of a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection....Read more about Guillain-Barré Syndrome NIH - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Multidiscliplinary care for Guillain‐Barré syndrome

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.

Corticosteroids for Guillain‐Barré syndrome

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.

Drug treatment for pain in Guillain‐Barré syndrome

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

See all (42)

Summaries for consumers

Multidiscliplinary care for Guillain‐Barré syndrome

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.

Corticosteroids for Guillain‐Barré syndrome

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.

Drug treatment for pain in Guillain‐Barré syndrome

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

See all (16)

Terms to know

Neurological
Having to do with nerves or the nervous system.
Neurologist
A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.
Peripheral
On or near an edge or constituting an outer boundary; the outer area.
Peripheral Nervous System
The nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord.
Polyneuropathy
Polyneuropathy is damage or disease affecting peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy) in roughly the same areas on both sides of the body, featuring weakness, numbness, pins-and-needles, and burning pain. It usually begins in the hands and feet and may progress to the arms and legs; and sometimes to other parts of the body.

More about Guillain-Barré Syndrome

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Also called: Guillain-Barré

Other terms to know: See all 5
Neurological, Neurologist, Peripheral

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