A to Z of syndromes

A-Z of syndromes: Guillain-Barré syndrome

Signs, symptoms and management of a rare but serious syndrome that affects children
Guillain_Barre

Signs, symptoms and management of a rare but serious syndrome that affects children

Individuals with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) have sudden-onset polyneuropathy. This is characterised by muscle weakness, which occurs because of damage to the peripheral nervous system. The syndrome is rare but serious, occurs in all races and affects slightly more boys than girls.

The syndrome was named after two French doctors with surnames Guillain and Barré. Its exact cause is unknown, but about 60% of cases occur following infection. These infections can be mild, and viral and bacterial organisms have been implicated. Recently, a link with Zika virus has been made .

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