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Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Causes, Symptoms, TreatmentDiagnosis

Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a cause of progressive muscle weakness and paralysis which evolves over days or weeks, and resolves over the next several weeks or months. About 85% of patients recover completely, with no residual problems.

Diagnosis of GBS is made by virtue of the cluster of symptoms (ascending muscle weakness and then paralysis) and by examining the fluid which bathes the brain and spinal canal (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF). This fluid is obtained by inserting a needle into the lumbar (lower back) region. When examined in a laboratory, the CSF of a GBS patient will reveal an increased amount of protein over normal, with no increase over the normal amount of white blood cells usually present in CSF.

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