Guillain Barre Syndrome : Rare Neuromuscular Disease

1338 Words Nov 11th, 2014 6 Pages
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare neuromuscular disease. It is when the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. It is a disorder where the myelin sheath of the nerves is lost. This prevents the nerves from sending signals to the muscles. This creates weakness in the muscles, normally starting in the extremities and in some cases spreading to be complete paralysis. Guillain-Barre can happen to anyone regardless of age, this includes children, and any sex. The causes are not completely known. Around 100,000 people are diagnosed with Guillain-Barre a year, and around one third of patients are admitted into the ICU. Out of those 15-20% of patients require mechanical ventilation while others aren’t as severe.
Guillain-Barre first symptoms can include weakness or tingling in the arms and legs. This disease process is ascending so the weakness will start in the toes or fingertips and progresses upward. The paralysis generally is similar on both sides of the body. This can occur within a couple of days to increasing through a few weeks. Patients can also have a decreased reflex in knees and weakness in respiratory muscles and swallowing. Some other symptoms can include pain such as aching in the shoulders, back, buttocks, and thighs. Respiratory complaints in these patients can include; dyspnea while active, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, and slurred speech.
It is diagnosed by observing a development of muscle paralysis, cerebrospinal…
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