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April 2011

Cytokines in Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A Lesson in Time

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Arch Neurol. 2011;68(4):427-428. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.47

Guillain, Barré, and Strohl published their definitive account of an acute radiculoneuritis with albuminocytologic dissociation in 1916, although the clinical pattern of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) was first described midway through the prior century.1 The 1916 report described 2 French soldiers who developed acute, rapidly progressive generalized paralysis and areflexia; this report documented, for the first time, a marked elevation in cerebrospinal fluid protein level without an accompanying pleocytosis. Although a relatively rare disease, GBS occurs worldwide with an incidence of up to 2 cases per 100 000 persons and is the leading cause of acute flaccid paralysis in most countries.

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