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Paralyzed: Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Landry’s paralysis or Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) (or Guillain–Barré–Strohl syndrome), is a disorder that impedes the functioning of the peripheral nervous system. It was first described in 1916 by French physicians Georges Guillain and Jean Alexandre Barré, and thus, was name after the two pioneers. It is characterized by acute polyneuropathy which is described as an ascending paralysis (weakness stemming from the feet and hands, which extends to the trunk). Depending on the subtype, it may also feature an alteration of pain sensations in addition to causing general dysfunction to the autonomic nervous system. Guillain–Barré syndrome occurs for every one per one hundred thousand (100,000) people a year, and is considered rare. It also is the most common cause of acute non-trauma-related paralysis.

Its potentiality to be fatal especially when the respiratory and autonomic nervous systems are inculcated, necessitates rapid diagnosis and treatment. Typical diagnosis involves nerve conduction and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analyses. Treatment involves intravenous infusions of immunoglobulins and/or plasma, usually bundled with supportive care regimen.

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