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Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is characterized by muscular weakness and mild sensory loss. Although the cause is unknown, usually the syndrome begins shortly after a person experiences an infection, surgery, or an immunization.

Weakness usually begins in the legs and progresses to the arms. Ninety percent of GBS patients reach their worst state of the syndrome in the second or third week after symptoms start.

Some patients may have symptoms of unsteadiness in walking and severe loss of tactile sensation. About 10 percent of patients relapse after initial improvement and enter a chronic state. However, the patient normally experiences considerable improvement over a period of months.

Convalescence may last for months or years and should include physical therapy. Although 30 percent of adults with the syndrome still have residual weakness that may require retraining, use of orthopedic appliances, or operations, most make an almost complete recovery.
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Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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