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COVID-19 may precede Guillain-Barré syndrome in rare cases

COVID-19 can precede Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) in “rare cases”, according to one study, although the authors indicate that “the existence of a true association or causal relationship has yet to be established.” An investigation published today Brain analyzed an international database of patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome, known as the International SGB Results Study (IGOS).

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a autoimmune disorder that attacks the nerves, causing muscle weakness and, sometimes, paralysis. The disease, which is relatively rare, it can last for weeks or several years and can be serious. Since the beginning of the pandemic, doctors have reported more than 90 GBS diagnoses after possible COVID-19 infectionHowever, it is not clear if this is another possible infectious trigger or if the reported cases are coincidental.

The team focused on patients dFrom January 30 to May 30 of last year, period during which 49 new people with GBS were added to the study, coming from China, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In this cohort study, 22% of GBS patients included in the research during the first four months of the pandemic had a previous COVID-19 infection. All of them were over 50 years old and frequently experienced facial paralysis and had a demyelinating form of the disease.

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