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Guillain Barre Syndrome

Guillain Barre syndrome or GBS is a rare disease that affects the peripheral nervous system. This condition arises when the body's immune system attacks the peripheral nerves. Guillain-Barre syndrome can be life-threatening. Typically GBS follows an infection such as sore throat, Hodgkin's disease or other bacterial diseases. Sometimes surgery can trigger GBS. A severe attack of Guillain-Barre syndrome can leave a patient totally paralyzed. The patient has difficulty in breathing and sharp fluctuations in blood pressure and pulse rate.


Symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome include severe numbness and weakness in the limbs. It can result in loss of feeling and movement and temporary paralysis. There may be bouts of headache and vomiting. Symptoms such as tingling in the limbs and muscle weakness are characteristic of GBS. Early diagnosis is vital to the treatment of Guillain-Barre syndrome. A nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test can aid the doctor in diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome. A spinal tap is another diagnostic mechanism that helps to determine the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid. Electromyography helps in identifying the extent of damage to the neurological system.


If diagnosed within the early weeks, patients suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome can recover in good time. Plasmapheresis and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy are used to treat Guillain-Barre syndrome. Severe cases of GBS need hospitalization. Critical body functions need to be monitored during the recovery of the nervous system.

Electromyography

Electromyography or EMG is a diagnostic test that understands the physiological of muscles thereby assessing their health. Electromyography involves inserting a needle electrode through the skin into the muscle. This electorde detects electrical activity in the muscles and nerves controlling the muscles. A patient is asked to flex or contract the muscles so that the response of the muscle to the nerve stimuli is observed. An electromyograph is used to detect and measure electric potential that is generated by the contracting muscles. Other indicators to the proper functioning of the muscles and their corresponding nerves are the size, duration and frequency of electric signals received from them. EMG is often conducted along with a nerve conduction velocity test.

The EMG test is used to diagnose any possible weakness or impaired muscle strength due to neurological problems. Some discorders that can lead to abnormal readings on EMG test are cervical spondylosis, myasthenia gravis, carpal tunnel syndrome, myopathy, Brachial plexopathy, Guillain Barre syndrome, sciatic nerve dysfunction and mononueritis multiplex. EMG test aids in differentiating between a muscle and nerve disorder. The muscle may feel tender after the EMG test with localised bruising.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: June 20, 2019