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August 22, 1966


JAMA. 1966;197(8):655-656. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110080095032

Controversy still divides French and Anglo-American writers on the subject of the Guillain-Barré syndrome. The French apply the term exclusively to cases of benign, reversible, polyradiculoneuritis, with albuminocytologic dissociation. Occasionally cranial nerve or respiratory paralysis may be present, but similar syndromes resulting from other conditions known to affect the nervous system are excluded. The Guillain-Barré syndrome is considered a specific entity of unknown origin.

On the other hand, the Anglo-American Landry-Guillain-Barré syndrome, as popularized by Haymaker,1 is best described as a meningo-encephalo-myelo-radiculoneuritis, with or without albuminocytologic dissociation, occasionally irreversible or even fatal, occurring de novo or resulting from a multitude of conditions. French writers are confused by the association of Landry's name with what they consider a specific syndrome. For them, Landry's paralysis is not a specific entity but rather any ascending paralysis, regardless of cause.

Keeping these semantic differences in mind, the authors of a communication in the