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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