So, What is GBS?

What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

Guillain-Barré (ghee’-yan bah-ray’) Syndrome, or GBS, is a rare illness typified by the rapid onset of weakness, often accompanied and sometimes even preceded by abnormal sensations, such as tingling or pain. These various changes reflect damages to peripheral nerves, that is, nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerves, includes motor nerves to muscles that enable movement, sensory nerves from the skin and joints that detect texture, limb position, etc., and autonomic nerves that automatically regulate functions such as heart beat, blood pressure, pupil size, and a sense of bladder fullness.

GBS can occur at any time without warning. It varies greatly in severity from mild cases of brief weakness that may no even come to a doctor’s attention, to a devastating, life threatening illness with complete paralysis, respiratory failure and inability to swallow. GBS is rare. Most people have never heard of it, or if they have, know little about it.

Quoted from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, CIDP and Variants: An Overview for the Layperson (GBS/CIDP Foundation International, 10th Edition, 2010)

To know more, head over to Guillain-Barré Syndrome Fact Sheet at NIH’s website.

A short video explaining GBS.

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