What is Guillain Barre Syndrome and what treatments are available?

Areas include Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth, Dorchester, Yeovil, Bath and Bristol.

Guillain Barre Syndrome

This rare condition is caused by a progressive demyelination of the peripheral nerves, followed by remyelination and recovery. Myelin is the coating on the nerves that come from your spinal cord, to the muscles and from the skin back to the spinal cord. Without myelin, the nerves are unable to transmit messages, which results in paralysis. Guillain Barre Syndrome, or GBS, usually starts in the feet and hands, and works up the legs and arms. In severe cases it can affect the respiratory muscles and means the person would be on a life support machine.

guillain barre syndrome

After a short time (days to weeks) the nerves start to recover and replace the myelin, meaning that the muscles will start to work again. Most people recover, although this can take several months. Physiotherapy will help to keep muscles and joints loose and flexible, but also protect them from damage. Specific exercises will help strengthen the muscles as they recover, without over working them. Balance will have been affected by prolonged bed rest and will need to be improved, as will walking, running and all other normal activities.