Skip navigation
   Other Topics: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ All Topics

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Also called: Acute idiopathic polyneuritis, Acute inflammatory polyneuropathy, Infectious polyneuritis, Landry-Guillain-Barre syndrome 
 
 

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder that causes your immune system to attack your peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS nerves connect your brain and spinal cord with the rest of your body. Damage to these nerves makes it hard for them to transmit signals. As a result, your muscles have trouble responding to your brain. No one knows what causes the syndrome. Sometimes it is triggered by an infection, surgery, or a vaccination.

The first symptom is usually weakness or a tingling feeling in your legs. The feeling can spread to your upper body. In severe cases, you become almost paralyzed. This is life-threatening. You might need a respirator to breathe. Symptoms usually worsen over a period of weeks and then stabilize.

Guillain-Barre can be hard to diagnose. Possible tests include nerve tests and a spinal tap. Most people recover. Recovery can take a few weeks to a few years. Treatment can help symptoms, and may include medicines or a procedure called plasma exchange.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

 

 

 
 
Basics Learn More Multimedia & Cool Tools
  • No links available

 

 
Research Reference Shelf For You

 

 

 

Illustration of the muscles

National Institutes of Health