Question

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)

Are there other diseases similar to Guillain-Barre syndrome?

A Answers (2)

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome is one of several kinds of polyneuropathy. Polyneuropathy is when many of the nerves in the body malfunction simultaneously. Polyneuropathy may be chronic, taking months or even years to develop, or acute, coming on suddenly. One of the most common forms of chronic polyneuropathy is caused by diabetes. Although rare, Guillain-Barre is one of the more common types of acute neuropathies.

  • ADarshan Shah, MD, Neurology, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystem
    Guillain Barre Syndrome is an autoimmune condition which rapidly (over the course of 2-3 weeks) affects the peripheral nerves resulting in numbness and weakness.  There are many conditions which can cause similar symptoms and incude:
    1.  Myelitis - Inflammation or infection of the spinal cord
    2.  Certain infections such as Lyme disease or West Nile Virus
    3.  Toxin exposure such as botulism and heavy metal toxicity
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What are the symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome?