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Acute Idiopathic Polyneuritis

Also referred to as Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), is a rapidly progressive ascending paralyzing disorder of the peripheral nerves, those outside the brain and spinal cord. It often follows a gastrointestinal or respiratory infection. An autoimmune mechanism e.g. triggered by an infection, has been postulated as the cause of GBS. It typically can begin with abnormal feelings (such as tingling, prickling, or burning sensations) of the feet, followed by weakness and even paralysis of the legs, ascending up the trunk to involve the arms and face. Other features of GBS include absent or decreased deep tendon reflexes such as knee jerk, and an increase in the protein content of cerebrospinal fluid without a corresponding increase in cells. Electrodiagnostic studies of nerves and muscles help to confirm the diagnosis. Mimickers of GBS, such as porphyria and heavy metal poisoning can be ruled out with appropriate studies.

Joel S. Steinberg, M.D., Ph.D

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The National Dysautonomia Research Foundation (NDRF) has established this site to help inform afflicted patients, physicians and the general public on the various forms of Dysautonomia. It is our desire to give timely, as well as, accurate information, however NDRF will not be responsible for the misinterpretation of the information provided.  Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to .

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Last modified: Monday January 28, 2008.