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Guillain-Barre Syndrome Causes & Risks


The exact cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome is unknown. However, in about 70% of patients, a recent infection or surgery serves as a trigger to an autoimmune response. This autoimmune response attacks the peripheral nerves, leading to weakness and a loss of sensation.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for Guillain-Barré syndrome may include:

  • Recent bacterial or viral infection (Most common are respiratory or gastrointestinal infections.)
  • Recent vaccine
    • The swine flu vaccine administered from 1976-1977 was associated with excess cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome. (Since then, no other influenza virus vaccines have been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome.)
  • Recent surgery
  • History of lymphoma , lupus , or AIDS

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2018 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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