Understanding Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Central Nervous System Involvement

Authors

  • Mary Ann Gregory BA,

    Graduate Student, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Mary Ann Gregory, BA (Hons), is a graduate student at the School of Psychology, Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

  • Robert J. Gregory PhD,

    Senior LecturerSearch for more papers by this author
    • Robert J. Gregory, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology, Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

  • John V. Podd PhD

    Associate ProfessorSearch for more papers by this author
    • John V. Podd, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the School of Psychology, Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.


Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Mary Gregory, School of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, or via e-mail to MaryGregory566@hotmail.com.

Abstract

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare neurological disease that causes paralysis and may necessitate hospitalization for some patients in its acute stages. It primarily affects the peripheral nervous system, though recent research has shown that for some patients, the central nervous system is involved. The acute phase often requires intensive care services. Recognition is growing that recovery is not as smooth and free of symptoms as previously thought. Following “recovery” some people endure long-term residual symptoms, such as fatigue and pain. Nursing input can be of value by providing support, information, explanations, and empathy to reassure patients and families. A greater understanding of the nature and course of the disease and its ramifications can lead to more effective nursing management and a faster rehabilitation process.

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