Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare nerve disorder that occurs
when the body's own defenses (immune system) attack part of the peripheral
Symptoms usually start with numbness or tingling in the fingers and
toes, followed by muscle weakness in the legs, arms, and other muscles that
develops over a period of days to weeks and can progress to complete paralysis.
Difficulties in breathing and swallowing can also develop. The cause of this
disease is not known, but it often occurs after a viral or bacterial
Guillain-Barré syndrome is treated with immunotherapy, which boosts the
body's immune system and its ability to fight disease. Although this syndrome can be
life-threatening, most people recover with few lasting problems.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology