Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Acute Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Overview

Another name for Acute Demyelinating Polyneuropathy is Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

What is Guillain-Barre syndrome?
A person with Guillain-Barre syndrome has a rare disorder of the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Guillain-Barre syndrome results in worsening weakness, which starts in the arms and legs, and spreads to the trunk. The cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown. About 85 percent of patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome make a complete neurologic recovery.

What are the symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome?
Symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome include muscle weakness that starts in the legs and spreads to the arms. Symptoms may include leg weakness, hand weakness, arm weakness, facial weakness, shoulder pain, back pain, and leg pain. Severe symptoms include slurred speech and difficulty breathing.

How does the doctor treat Guillain-Barre syndrome?
Treatment for Guillain-Barre syndrome includes plasmapheresis, immunoglobulins, physical therapy, and mechanical ventilation.

Continue to Acute Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute Demyelinating Polyneuropathy References
  1. Awong IE, Dandurand KR, Keeys CA, Maung-Gyi FA: Drug-associated Guillain-Barre syndrome: a literature review. Ann Pharmacother 1996 Feb; 30(2): 173-80. [8835052]
  2. Hughes RA, Wijdicks EF, Benson E, Cornblath DR, Hahn AF, Meythaler JM, Sladky JT, Barohn RJ, Stevens JC; Multidisciplinary Consensus Group. Supportive care for patients with guillain-barre syndrome. Arch Neurol. 2005 Aug;62(8):1194-8. [16087757]
  3. van Doorn PA. Treatment of Guillain-Barre syndrome and CIDP. J Peripher Nerv Syst. 2005 Jun;10(2):113-27. [15958124]
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