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February 1963

Treatment of the Guillain-Barre Syndrome: Use of Corticotropin and Glucocorticoids

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Arch Neurol. 1963;8(2):179-193. doi:10.1001/archneur.1963.00460020079006

The Guillain-Barré syndrome has been the subject of many controversies in the medical literature. Its etiology and pathogenesis have not been definitely established, there are differences of opinion regarding diagnostic criteria, and even the definition and name of the symptom complex are still matters of dispute. Inasmuch as the rational therapy of any disease or syndrome is dependent upon an adequate understanding of its etiology and pathogenesis, it is not surprising that many treatments have been advocated for this condition.

Since 1952 a number of reports have appeared which suggest that the use of corticotropin and glucocorticoids is of therapeutic value in this syndrome. Many of these, however, have been descriptions of isolated cases, and no adequately controlled investigations have been made. The present study is a summary of the voluminous literature on the use of these hormones in the treatment of the Guillain-Barré syndrome and a review of 18