Multiple Sclerosis And Guillain Barre Syndrome

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Marco R. Jerez 18 September 2015 Reflection Paper Multiple Sclerosis and Guillain-Barré Syndrome are two autoimmune disorders of the nervous system that occur when the myelin sheath surrounding the axons of a nerve degenerate. Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the central nervous system while Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) involves the peripheral nervous system.1,2 MS is a gradually regressing disease that usually occurs in one of four ways. The first is relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and is the most common. Patients typically experience relapses where the symptoms are aggravated and enhanced followed by episodes of remissions during which the symptoms cease or calm down. 3 The second type is called secondary-progressive MS (SPMS). This type mimics RRMS but undergoes a steadier decline that may or may not include relapses3. The third type is primary-progressive MS (PPMS) where the disease progresses at a more regular rate from onset. PPMS, however, may speed up, slow down, or even plateau for a bit, but no remissions are present.3 Lastly, progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS), the least common type, presents similarly to PPMS in that the decline is steady, but this type of MS has exacerbations that the patient may or may not recover from.3 Unlike MS, Guillain-Barré does not present in types and characteristically attacks more rapidly.2 It is a poorly understood disease, however, research has shown that it is generally preceded by a bacterial or viral infection.4

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