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A young boy complained of leg pain before becoming paralysed a few days later due to the autoimmune disorder, Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Guillian-Barre Syndrome can affect any age group, usually following a viral illness of the respiratory or gastrointestinal systems where the immune system is sensitized to the body's peripheral nerves. Autoantibodies are produced against the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves, causing its destruction and slowing of nerve impulses. These sheaths regrow at a speed of a millimetre and day. Other symptoms can include paraesthesia, weakness, pain and loss of function of the limbs that normally starts at the feet and moves up to involve the whole body. Diagnosis is primarily through taking a medical history and examination. Early treatment is recommended with intravenous immunoglobulins to absorb the body's autoimmune antibodies. Ongoing management is with rehabilitation to recover the patients' ability and confidence to walk. Half of Guillain-Barre syndrome sufferers have retained disability due to permanent nerve sheath destruction.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Pallidium Item
About: Paralysis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Date: 3 July 2005
Source: Pallidium Item
Author: Rachel Sheeley
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