Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder that occurs when an individual's immune system attacks the healthy nerve tissues in their peripheral nervous system. Most cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome develop following an infection similar to gastroenteritis or influenza. Some cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome have developed following a bacterial infection as well. The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown. It is thought that certain infections alter the way an affected individual's immune system reacts to their nerve tissues. The axon that sits under the myelin sheath of the peripheral nerves may be unrecognizable to the affected individual's immune system, which triggers the attack. Diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome is made with the use of a physical examination, nerve conduction examination, electromyography, and lumbar puncture. Treatment for this syndrome includes the use of plasma exchange and or immunoglobulin therapy.
Several symptoms can indicate Guillain-Barre syndrome. Get to know them now.
Pins And Needles Sensation
An individual who has recently had a respiratory or digestive system infection who experiences pins and needle sensations in their arms or legs may be affected by Guillain-Barre syndrome. The immune system in an affected individual loses its ability to properly recognize the parts of the nerves referred to as the axons and myelin sheaths. These components of the nerve allow for the electrical impulses to move from one nerve to the next in the body. Pins and needles sensations are usually the first symptoms to appear in affected individuals. Because the myelin sheath encapsulates the axon of the nerve, it experiences the most damage in the early stages of the syndrome. Myelin sheaths are protective fatty coverings responsible for insulating the nerve axon and helping the impulses move smoothly from one nerve to the next. Without this protective covering, the nerves cannot conduct nerve impulses properly to and from the brain. This malfunction is what produces the sensation of pins and needles in the affected arm or leg.
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