Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious disorder that occurs when the body's defense (immune) system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. This leads to nerve inflammation that causes
Landry-Guillain-Barre syndrome; Acute idiopathic polyneuritis; Infectious polyneuritis; Acute inflammatory polyneuropathy; Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Guillain-Barre syndrome is an
It often follows a minor infection, such as a lung infection or gastrointestinal infection. Most of the time, signs of the original infection have disappeared before the symptoms of Guillain-Barre begin.
The swine flu vaccination in 1976 may have caused rare cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome. However, the swine flu and the regular flu vaccines used today have not resulted in more cases of the illness.
Guillain-Barre syndrome damages parts of nerves. This nerve damage causes tingling,
Guillain-Barre syndrome may occur along with viral infections such as:
- Herpes simplex
It may also occur with other medical conditions such as
Some people may get Guillain-Barre syndrome after a bacterial infection. A similar syndrome may occur after surgery, or when someone is critically ill (neuropathy of critical illness).
Review Date: 06/15/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.