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The Guillain-Barre Syndrome

  1. Reasons
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment

A disease in which the immune system damages its own nerves, is called

the Guillain-Barre syndrome

. The immune system of the patient begins to perceive their own tissue as foreign, so that it forms antibodies and immune cells to combat them. Due to damage to nerve cells, the patient has absence of reflexes (areflexia), and there is a weakness in the muscles, leading to paralysis of the entire body.


The exact cause of this disease is unknown, but it is noticed that the common precursors of the syndrome was an infectious disease (infection of the gastrointestinal tract or respiratory). The Guillain-Barre syndrome – this disease is quite rare and occurs in a small number of people. As a rule, most patients recover completely.

The syndrome can cause

  • the infection of the bacteria Campylobacter (can be in undercooked food, poultry)
  • infections recorded during surgical intervention
  • virus

  • mononucleosis
  • virus, Epstein-Barr
  • the cause can be flu shots and rabies.


Early symptoms can be disturbance of sensation, deep aching pain in the back and limbs. In some instances, numb the bottom, and then the upper limbs, also affecting the facial and respiratory muscles and the Boulevard. Sometimes the disease affects upper extremities first, then goes to the bottom.

The symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome quite diverse, and affect the whole body

  • develops weakness in shoulders and hips, and then affect the lower legs and forearms, and often affects the respiratory muscles
  • lose the ability to breathe independently
  • it gets hard to swallow
  • observed tingling and numbness of the skin of the extremities (mainly feet and hands)
  • pulling hard treatable, pain in the limbs, pelvis and back
  • disturbed coordination of movements, gait becomes shaky
  • there are sharp differences in blood pressure, dramatically slow, or Vice versa, palpitations
  • appears the double vision and develop strabismus
  • urinary incontinence is observed for 2-3 days.

Polyradiculoneuritis Guillain-Barre has several forms, depending on symptoms and results of clinical trials

  • the three forms in which the characteristic muscle weakness, lack of coordination and double vision
  • the classic form is the most common acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, there is damage to the main element of the nerve sheath myelin
  • acute motor axonal neuropathy, which damages the processes of nerve cells, carrying food nerves
  • acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy, due to damage to the axons, muscle weakness, tingling and numbness of the skin
  • the syndrome Miller Fisher, in which there is unsteadiness of gait, diplopia and strabismus.


Because symptoms similar to other neurological disorders and are manifested differently in all patients, diagnose the syndrome in its early stages is difficult.

Diagnosis the doctor examines the complaints and anamnesis of the disease, figuring out how long ago there was a numbness, skin tingling, muscle weakness, unsteadiness of gait and double vision, I figure out what preceded the disease (

, diarrhea, or vaccination).

Conducted a neurological examination of the patient, which assessed muscle strength in the limbs of the patient, checked reflexes, assesses the sensitivity of the pelvic organs, swallowing, and cerebellum (precariousness), the possibility of movements of the eyeballs (some patients they can be completely immobilized). Assesses the reaction of the heart to physical activity and a sharp rise from a lying position.

At the time of diagnosis the patient needs to take the analysis of blood, which is tested for the presence of inflammation (increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate) and checked for the presence of antibodies affecting the myelin and also undergo lumbar puncture, which allows to check the number of red blood cells, antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid and protein.

During the examination, assessed excitability of the muscles and checks for the presence of nerve impulses through the nerves with electromyographic.


When Guillain-Barre syndrome treatment is carried out in the neurology Department. Hospitalityat the patient and, if necessary, transferred to artificial lung ventilation. Closely monitored the work of the cardiovascular system (heart rate, blood pressure) and respiration of the patient.

Polyradiculoneuritis amenable to medical treatment, which includes

  • hormones (steroids)
  • a mixture of protective antibodies immunoglobulins, which strengthen the immune system and reduce aggressive autoimmune process against its own cells
  • to improve the nutrition of the tissues of the whole body prescribe antioxidants that improve metabolism
  • the method of plasmapheresis to clean the blood of antibodies. During this procedure, the patient take a few units of blood in a centrifuge to separate blood cells from plasma, containing antibodies. After replacing the plasma by reopoligliukina (substitute of plasma) in the blood stream return of stored blood cells.

In combination with drug treatment is Esch and psychotherapy that helps the patient is reasonable to treat painful manifestations and easier to go through the rehabilitation process. Depending on the motor capacity of the patient is assigned to physiotherapy, which improves blood flow and restores reflexes. There is a risk of a fatal outcome in a patient from cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.

Because of the uncertainty of the causes of Guillain-Barre syndrome cannot be prevented, to prevent infection by this disease.