Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is an immunopathy associated with an acute, often fulminate, evolution of a demyelinating inflammatory polyradiculoneuropathy. In developed countries, GBS is the most common cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis, afflicting about 5,000 persons annually in the United States. Over 20% of GBS patients have permanent residual motor deficits that affect their activities of daily living. The combined incidence of persistent mono- to tetraplegia is estimated to be 54%. The major clinical manifestation is weakness, mainly symmetrical, that evolves over a period of several days. The average period from onset to nadir of illness is 8 days. The duration of the illness is usually less than 12 weeks and most patients are expected to have a favorable outcome. Approximately 10% of GBS patients die, usually from respiratory failure, cardiacarrhythmia, or pulmonary embolism, and 20% are left with deficits in ambulation or respiration one year later. Therefore, GBS is a significant cause of new long-term disability for at least 1,000 persons per year in the United States and many more elsewhere. Moreover, given the young age at which GBS sometimes occurs and the relatively long life expectancies following GBS, it is likely that at least 50,000+, and perhaps 50,000, persons in the United States are currently experiencing at least some residual effects of GBS.
Improvement of Motor, Sensory, and Functional Status of Post-Guillain-BarreSyndrome with the Use of 4-Aminopyridine: Jay M. Meythaler and Robert C. Brunner
Last date updated on June, 2014