Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a disease of the nervous system in which the immune system attacks the nerves. Find out about treatments to help relieve the symptoms and reduce the duration of the disease at our Neurology clinics in Spain.

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Guillain-Barre Syndrome treatment in Spain

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. The first symptoms are usually weakness and tingling in the limbs.

These sensations can spread rapidly and eventually paralyse the entire body. The most severe form of Guillain-Barré syndrome is considered a medical emergency. Most people with this condition must be hospitalised for treatment.

The exact cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome is unknown. However, two-thirds of patients report having symptoms of infection in the previous six weeks. These can be respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, or the Zika virus.

So far, there is no cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome, but several treatments can alleviate symptoms and reduce the duration of the disease.

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    Treatment characteristics

    There are different types of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. These are the three (3) most common types:

    • Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP)
    • Miller Fisher Syndrome
    • Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (ASMAN)

    Some common symptoms to all three (3) types:

    • Generalised muscle weakness
    • Unsteady gait
    • Difficulty moving facial muscles
    • Muscle cramping
    • Arrhythmias
    • Low or high blood pressure
    • Breathing difficulty
    • Decreased or loss of reflexes

    Guillain-Barré Syndrome mabe triggered by (exact causes are unknown):

    • Infection caused by:

    – Campylobacter

    – Epstein-Barr virus

    – HIV

    – Mycoplasma pneumonia

    – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

    This syndrome can be fatal but there are several treatments that can reverse and control the symptoms.

    Depending on the severity of the syndrome, you will have to undergo one or more therapies to help you recover your impaired  capabilities. These therapies include physiotherapy and speech therapy among others. They are coordinated by a multidisciplinary team that will focus on achieving your best possible recovery.

    The majority of the patients, who are detected and undergo the prescribed treatments are able to fully recover their decreased capacities with the recovery plan developed by our medical team.

    Since this treatment is not to cure but to control the disease, you can stay in Spain as long as you consider necessary.

    During the first month, the medical team will evaluate you and give you the first appropriate measures and exercises. Depending on the length of your stay, the medical team will re-evaluate and give you new recommendations for your treatment.

    The treatment process will take a few months up to a year.

    Relevant information

    Advantages

    • Stimulation of neuronal plasticity.
    • Improvement of lost physical and cognitive abilities.
    • Increasing self-esteem.
    • More independence in the patient’s daily life.

    Treatment itinerary

    Before treatment

    • You will have a prearranged treatment plan before your trip. This way, you are always informed of the treatment plan at the hospital in Spain.

    • Check that you have prepared all the personal documentation (credit card, cash, passport, Identity Card…), medical (reports, prescriptions, images…) and travel (confirmation of accommodation booking, travel tickets…)​.
    • If you take medication of any kind not related to the surgery, do not forget to take with you the necessary amount for your stay in Spain, as well as the medical prescription that will allow you to travel with it without problems.​

    During treatment

    • Once you are in Spain, you will have to make an appointment with your specialist. During this visit, the doctor will open your medical record (for which you will be asked to provide all your medical documentation), perform a physical examination and tell you if any further tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.
    • He treatment of the disease is mostly physical therapy to improve motor problems. In case surgery is necessary, all the details will be explained to you after the first session with the doctor.
    • If the surgeon has told you to stop taking any medication a few days before the surgery, such as anticoagulants, please do not forget to follow the exact instructions given by the doctor or you will not be able to have the treatment!

    After treatment

    • When the treatment in Spain is finished, our professionals provide a series of guidelines to continue your therapy at home.
    • Remember that your recovery time will vary depending on your age, your physical condition, your lifestyle habits and your attitude!

    • Keep in mind that your successful recovery also depends on you!

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