Children and Adolescents with Guillain Barre Syndrome

Extensive development of immunization programs in industrialized countries is the most common and obvious reason of severe paralytic disease in children and adolescent.

Guillain Barre Syndrome has been reported to range from 0.5-1.6 in 100,000 children and adolescent. Guillain Barre Syndrome affects approximately 16% of children after triggering fatal symptoms like respiratory failure that constantly need mechanical ventilator support.

Forthcoming emergency treatment trials in childhood Guillain Barre Syndrome are inadequate as thorough sensory examination is not feasible, though few case series studies applying historical controls indicate that equally combined administration of human immunoglobulin and plasmapheresis could be significant in decreasing life threatening symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome.

Generally recovery from this severe illness is excellent among children and adolescents, majority of children suffering from Guillain Barre Syndrome regain a full functional recovery in approximately 6-8 months. It is crucial for a pediatric neurological surgeon to get all the emergency information for immediate assessment of treatment for Guillain Barre Syndrome in infants and kids.

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Causes of Guillain Barre Syndrome

Guillain Barre Syndrome is not a contagious disease yet it contains extremely life threatening effects. In 1916 Jean-Alexander Barre, Georges Charles Guillain recorded and carefully examined their patients with this fatal syndrome. They published their research as classic report on ascending paralysis and this disease is named after both theses dedicated French physicians.

After all these year, constant research has been done but there are no exact causes for this sickness. There are no particular theories that explain how this fatal illness originates? Currently no one knows which enzyme, hormone or nerve triggers Guillain Barre Syndrome. The only scientific evidence available is that, scientists have discovered that body’s auto-immune system start to attack the body and it is commonly referred as auto-immune disease.

Normally cells of the immune system only damage and attack foreign invading organisms. However in Guillain Barre Syndrome the immune system begins to attack the myelin cover that surrounds the axons (axons are extended, thin addition of the nerve cells and carry nerve signals) of several peripheral nerves. Myelin sheath around the axon increase the transmission of nerve signals and let the transmission of signals over extended distances. In the peripheral nerves”” syndromes where myelin sheaths are degraded or injured, the nerves stop conveying signals effectively. This is the core cause why muscles begin to lose their ability to respond on brain’s commands and brain gets fewer signals from the body.

At this stage of Guillain Barre Syndrome, after getting fewer sensory signals from the body, patient feels disability for pain, textures, temperature and similar sensations. Instead brain receives inappropriate signals that produce pain, cold, tingling sensations like crawling of the skin. Consequently, muscle weakness and tingling sensations typically emerge in the hands and feet and grow towards upper limb. At the chronic stage of Guillain Barre Syndrome a viral or bacterial infection appears, it is possible that the virus has modified the nature of cells in the nervous system and the immune system begins to attack them as foreign cells.

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History of Guillain Barre Syndrome

The first and precise incident of Guillain Barre Syndrome was reported on 1859 by Jean Baptiste Octave Landry de Thezillat. Landry de Thezillat published a report of 10 patients with ascending paralysis. Until 1876 ”Landry”s ascending paralysis” was the only term used for this illness.

Jean-Alexander Barre, Georges Charles Guillain with Andre Strohl researched on this life threatening disease during the World War I. These three French physicians carefully recorded and interpreted the muscle reflexes of their patients. They identified the illness to be associated with the peripheral nerves. In 1916 they published the very first comprehensive detailed classic paper on this syndrome. Strohl”s contributions to the research were not acknowledged, and his name was not included in 1916 research paper. In 1927 two doctors worked on this classic paper, the recognized disease was later named Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS).

Presently there are several types of Guillain Barre Syndrome, however the most common form victimize middle aged or older people. But this cruel disease is not just limited to any age, sex, race or religion. People of all age group are equally affected by it.

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Guillain-Barre Syndrome Symptoms

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an inflammatory disease of the peripheral nerves. These peripheral nerves pass on sensory information like pain and temperature. For normal functioning of body these commands or sensory reflexes are crucial to carry the signals to brain and from brain to rest of the body.

Brain receives fewer sensory signals from the body such as pain, temperature, texture, inability to feel other sensations. Eventually muscle start to lose the ability to properly react at brain’s commands. Guillain Barre Syndrome is a disease in which body””s auto-immune system damages the peripheral nervous system.

The primary Guillain-Barre symptoms of this syndrome include various forms of weakness and pains. Guillain Barre Syndrome is commonly associated by numbness or tingling in the legs and arms, weakness, possible loss of movement and feeling in the legs, upper body, arms and face. Many patients complain of weakness and tingling sensations in their lower limb or legs. In some circumstances this weakness, pain and abnormal sensations extend to upper body, arms and face. Chronic symptoms of inflammatory polyradicalneuropathy and demyelinating may end up in Guillain Barre Syndrome. When these signs grow in intensity, patient experience slow muscle movements or low muscle reflexes. However if timely or prom medical care is not provided often patient’s entire body get paralyzed.

Guillain Barre Syndrome is considered a medical emergency and life threatening if not taken care at proper time. Guillain Barre Syndrome affects pulmonary system and many people get pulmonary complications. These patients are under constant medical care and often need respirator to facilitate proper breathing. Patients suffer from fluctuations in blood pressure, blood clots and irregular heartbeat rate. Guillain Barre Syndrome takes almost 1-2 weeks after the early signs like gastrointestinal viral infection and respiratory or pulmonary complications.

People of all age groups and both sexes are easy victims of this severe and fatal syndrome. There is yet no cure or magical treatments for it but few diagnoses seem affective in some patients. Rarely some medical complications occur after some vaccinations and surgery of Guillain Barre Syndrome.

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