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Guillain Barré Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.


It is possible that the main title of the report Guillain Barré Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • acute autoimmune peripheral neuropathy
  • acute immune-mediated polyneuropathy
  • acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
  • acute inflammatory neuropathy
  • acute inflammatory polyneuropathy
  • GBS
  • Landry-Guillain-Barre-Strohl syndrome
  • Landry's ascending paralysis
  • post-infective polyneuritis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • acute motor axonal neuropathy
  • acute motor neuropathy with conduction block
  • chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Miller-Fisher syndrome
  • multifocal motor neuropathy
  • multifocal motor sensory demyelinating neuropathy
  • acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy

General Discussion

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare, rapidly progressive disorder that consists of inflammation of the nerves (polyneuritis) causing muscle weakness, sometimes progressing to complete paralysis. Although the precise cause of GBS is unknown, a viral or respiratory infection precedes the onset of the syndrome in about half of the cases. This has led to the theory that GBS may be an autoimmune disease (caused by the body's own immune system). Damage to the covering (myelin) of nerve axons (the extension of the nerve cell that conducts impulses away from the nerve cell body) results in delayed nerve signal transmission. This causes weakness of the muscles that are supplied by the damaged nerves.

The following variants of GBS (acute inflammatory neuropathy or acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy) are recognized: Miller Fisher syndrome, acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy, acute motor axonal neuropathy.


GBS/CIDP Foundation International

The Holly Building

104 1/2 Forrest Avenue

Narberth, PA 19072


Tel: (610)667-0131

Fax: (610)667-7036

Tel: (866)224-3301



National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias

6 Execuitive Drive

Suite 2

Fairview Hiights, IL 62208

Tel: (618)566-2020

Fax: (618)566-4718



American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.

22100 Gratiot Ave.

Eastpointe, MI 48021

Tel: (586)776-3900

Fax: (586)776-3903

Tel: (800)598-4668



NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801

Bethesda, MD 20824

Tel: (301)496-5751

Fax: (301)402-2186

Tel: (800)352-9424

TDD: (301)468-5981


Guillain-Barre Syndrome Support Group

Woodholme House Ground Floor

Heckington Business Park

Station Road


Sleaford, NG34 7EB

United Kingdom

Tel: 01529469910

Fax: 01529469915

Tel: 0800374803



Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A

Short Hills, NJ 07078


Tel: (973)379-2690

Fax: (973)912-9433

Tel: (800)225-0292



Guillain-Barre Syndrome Foundation of Canada, Inc.

PO Box 42016

2852 John Street

Markham, Ontario, L3R 5R0


Tel: 9056400073

Fax: 9056409815


Internet: or

Center for Peripheral Neuropathy

University of Chicago

5841 South Maryland Ave, MC 2030

Chicago, IL 60637

Tel: (773)702-5659

Fax: (773)702-5577


Madisons Foundation

PO Box 241956

Los Angeles, CA 90024

Tel: (310)264-0826

Fax: (310)264-4766



Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.

PO Box 4121

Brick, NJ 08723

Fax: (732)543-7285


European Society for Immunodeficiencies

1-3 rue de Chantepoulet

Geneva, CH 1211


Tel: 410229080484

Fax: 41229069140



AutoImmunity Community



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  3/16/2011

Copyright  1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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