Who Is Guillain-Barre Syndrome Named After?


Quick Answer

Guillain-Barre syndrome is named after Georges Guillain and Jean Alexandre Barre, two doctors who discovered the disease's characteristic feature in 1916, states the American Medical Association. French physician Jean Landry described the condition in 1859, but it was not given a name at that time.

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Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks nerves in the peripheral nervous system. As of January 2016, the cause of this disorder is unknown. Guillain-Barre syndrome is usually triggered by an infection, such as a respiratory illness or stomach flu, according to Healthline.

Symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome include tingling in the fingers and toes, muscle weakness that spreads from the legs to the upper body, and difficulty swallowing or chewing, notes Healthline. Doctors diagnose the condition by performing a nerve conduction test or spinal tap. Guillain-Barre has no cure as of January 2016. Treatment involves hospitalization and either a plasma exchange or intravenous immunoglobulin until the patient's nervous system recovers.

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