Guillain-Barre syndrome is an unusual disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks nerves. It causes extreme weakness and tingling. These sensations spread quickly and ultimately paralyzes the whole body. Here we will see how this disease is interlinked with the COVID-19.
Tom was a patient of 54 years and was enjoying good health. Suddenly, he felt unwell and got too weak to get out of bed. When his family brought him to the hospital, doctors found that he had a fever and signs of a severe infection. He tested positive for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.
When neurologists investigated, Tom was found suspicious of possessing with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It is an autoimmune disease that causes uncommon sensation and weakness due to slow down sending of signals through the nerves. During intensive care and chief studies related to neurological complications and COVID-19, neurologists found out a possible link between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Truth of Guillain-Barre Syndrome
It occurs when the body’s own immune system violates and injures the nerves outside of the spinal cord or brain. Mostly, the injury involves myelin, the protective sheath that wraps nerves and essences for nerve function. Without the myelin sheath, signals that go through a nerve are lost, which causes the nerve to malfunction.
To diagnose Guillain-Barre Syndrome, neurologists did a detailed neurological exam. Examination depicted that patients often show loss of reflexes because of the nerve injury. Doctors usually, need to perform a lumbar puncture or spinal tap, by taking a sample of spinal fluid to see the inflammation and abnormal antibodies.
Forms of Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Though it is rare yet it appears as bacterial infections, such as Campylobacter jejuni. It is a common cause of food poisoning. The syndrome may also appear as a multitude of viral infections including the flu virus, Zika virus, and other coronaviruses.
Although extensive research studies are underway, overall it appears that Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare but serious phenomenon probably linked to COVID-19.
Recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome
The majority of patients recover within a few weeks and ultimately can make a full recovery. As the COVID-19 pandemic ambit across the globe, many neurologic specialists have been observing common occurrences of serious nervous system complications such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Though the reported cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome show that there are many viruses found common in both disorders. That’s why there exist probable chances that a patient with nervous system disorders can get COVID-19 quickly. However, this is not uncommon in a pandemic situation where the less sick patients stay at home and do not show up for medical care because of fear of getting exposed to the virus. Anyhow, we should take maximum care of our brain, central nervous system, lungs, and respiratory system in this pandemic to stay safe.
Cover Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
Hi! I am Madiha Anwar. Reading books and pursue skills is my passion since my childhood. Always dream to serve homo-sapiens along with this knowledge. Being a medical student I would love to write on health suggestions. I desire that articles bring a healthy change in your life. Stay tuned & stay healthy!