Thursday, April 26, 2007

What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

Guillain-Barre (Ghee-yah Bah-ray) Syndrome is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder that affects the nervous system, particularly damages the myelin sheaths that surrounds the peripheral nerves of the body. For more information go to this NIH site

Diagram of Demyelinated Nerves in GBS

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system that destroys the myelin sheaths that surrounds the axon. In various degrees this causes muscle weakness by having an affect on the motor nerve axons, which alows us to move our arms and legs around.

Signs and Symptoms

The first symptoms of GBS is sensations of paresthesia (numbness/pins&needles) in the fingers and toes, which is followed by weakness in arms and legs. Some people have difficulty walking. In some extreme cases people are put on ventilator or feeding tube because their muscles in chest are in complete paralysis. For more information see this Neurologychannel site

What Causes GBS?

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare disorder that can affect both men and women. Guillain-Bare syndrome is not contagious or hereditary, and the actual cause is unknown. However, about half of all cases are linked to follow a viral or bacterial infection such as, common cold, flu, viral hepatitis infectious mononucleosis. For more information about this go to this medline plus site

How do you know you have GBS?

Because the cause of GBS is unknow it makes it really hard to diagnose. The syndrome is only recognizable when it has reached out to the whole body. But, there are three test that can confirm it before it reaches those extreme cases. There is the Lumbar Puncture (spinal tap), Electromyogram (EMG), and Nerve Condition Velocity (NCV) test that can help comfirm the diagnoses.
More Detail on these test click here

What Are The Treatment Methods?

Guillain-Barre Syndome has no cure but there are ways to lessen the impact or severity of the onset. Recovery can be slow process lasting several months, but everything progresses. Therapy can also help the patient recover faster from the illness. Plasmapheresis and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy is used to lessen the severity and immune attack on the body and nervous system. Click here or this site for more information about treatment.