Guillain-Barré Syndrome: Acquired neurologic
disorder preceded by a viral infection and leading to the destruction of
posterior horn of the spinal cord neural tissue. It is clinically manifested
with muscle weakness, areflexia, and numbness or tingling in the arms, legs,
face, and other parts of the body. It may progress to complete paralysis.
Difficulties in breathing and swallowing can occur, and intermittent
positive-pressure ventilation can be required. It can be life-threatening;
however, most people recover with few neurologic residual deficits. The
clinical presentation is usually preceded by numbness or tingling in the
fingers and toes, followed by weakness in the leg and arm muscles that
develops over a period of hours to weeks. The muscle weakness gradually
improves within months, and complete recovery may be expected within 1 year.