Guillaine Barre Syndrome is a paralytic disorder affecting all age groups, and both men and women.
- Paralysis of all four limbs
It is a form of nerve disorder, which results in ascending paralysis of the body, that is paralysis initially starting in legs, progressing upward to involve the thigh, hip, trunk muscles and eventually the arms and hands.
- Paralysis of Respiratory muscles and muscles of voice production
It may even progress to involve the muscles of respiration, voice muscles, facial muscles on both sides. The bladder control, that is control of urine, and bowel functions, that is the control of stools remains unaffected in most of the cases. It may be associated with generalized weakness, pain of the affected muscles, back pain, but these symptoms do not usually form the main complaints of the illness. Weakness of the legs and arms remains the most important complaint.
- It is usually preceded by infections like loose motions, Upper respiratory infections like sore throat etc.
- Infections may be bacterial or viral.
- It may also be vaccine induced.
What to do if you see such weakness developing in a person?
- GBS is an emergency. Person must be rushed to the hospital immediately.
- The rapidly progressing weakness may involve the respiratory muscles leading to breathlessness, choking, aspiration, and if not managed properly may even lead to death of the person.
- Sooner the treatment of GBS is started, the better are the chances of recovery. Delay in treatment leads to poorer results and slower recovery.
- Usually, the diagnosis of GBS is made on history basis, and does not need any investigations. Treatment must be started if GBS is suspected even if not proven, as early treatment has its own advantages.
- It consists of administering certain modalities like:
- IV Immunoglobulin (IVIG)
- Intubation and securing the airway, along with ventilator support if required
- Close monitoring of the heart rate, blood pressure as there can be immense fluctuations in these.
- Long term treatment mainly consists of
- Physiotherapy of the affected limbs
- Preventing complications of immobility – such as bed sores, muscle wasting, deep venous thrombosis.
The diagnosis of GBS is confirmed with the help of Electrophysiological studies like Nerve Conduction Tests (NCV), CSF (cerebrospinal fluid studies).
The NCV report helps the physician to understand which type of GBS is the patient suffering from, and can help in predicting the future course and treatment options.
When does it recover?
- 80 – 85 % patients have very good recovery and improvement in weakness.
- Hence, its prognosis remains good in most cases, but may take many months or even up to a year or two.
- In few cases, the recovery may not take place, and the weakness may increase beyond 2 months.
Please do not take any mentioned drugs or treatments without the advice of your doctor. Consultants at Jain Hospital are equipped to handle GBS, for appointments, please call +91 9015 111 222 for appointments.