Neurology Conditions

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disorder characterized by the body's immune system attacking its peripheral nervous system. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disease (affecting only 1 or 2 people per 100,000) and the syndrome's cause has not been pinpointed. However, in some cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome may follow a surgery, vaccination or infectious illness.

Patients with Guillain-Barre often experience weakness, numbness or tingling that typically starts in the legs and may progress to involve the upper body, arms and face. In several cases, GBS may result complete muscle paralysis and weaken the ability to breathe. The majority of patients fully recover, but permanent weakness may remain in some.

Diagnosing Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre syndrome can be difficult to diagnose in its earliest stages. Symptoms of Guillain-Barre Syndrome are similar to those of other neurological disorders and vary from person to person. To diagnose Guillain-Barre syndrome your physician will need to get a full detailed medical history and understand the scope of your symptoms. The diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome is typically confirmed with a spinal tap and nerve function tests.

Guillain-Barre Diagnosis & Treatment at Emory

Guillain-Barre syndrome is diagnosed and treated by physicians and staff from the Neuromuscular Division of Emory's Department of Neurology. This Group consists of physicians, nurses, and technical staff that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of people with diseases of neuromuscular diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome. We are nationally recognized as a center for patients with neuromuscular diseases, and serve as the major referral center for the Atlanta, Georgia and Southeast areas.

The Neuromuscular Division of the Department of Neurology at Emory offers full diagnostic and treatment services for Guillain-Barre Syndrome, including electrodiagnosis and nerve and or muscle biopsy and lab interpretation. The Neuromuscular Division is actively involved in research and clinical trials.