No link is seen between COVID, Guillain-Barré Syndrome

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) – There is no evidence that COVID-19 is linked to a brain condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, British researchers say.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare autoimmune condition that attacks the peripheral nervous system, usually causing anxiety, weakness and pain. In severe cases, it can cause paralysis and can sometimes be fatal.

The exact cause is unknown, but the syndrome often occurs after a gastroenteritis infection called Camplylobacter, with the immune system attacking nerves instead of germs.

Previous research has found an increase in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome during the outbreak of Zika virus in Latin America, and some studies have raised concerns about a possible link between COVID-19 infection and the syndrome.

For the new study, researchers from University College London compared cases of Guillain-Barré in the UK between 2016 and 2019 with those at the time of coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020.

The annual incidence of Guillain-Barré patients treated in hospitals between 2016 and 2019 was 1.88 per 100,000 people. Between March and May 2020, it was 40% to 50% lower than in the same months of 2016 to 2019, according to the study published December 14 in the journal Brain.

The authors said their findings run counter to the results of smaller surveys and should give people confidence.

“The potential for SARS-CoV-2 to drive global spike in GBS has been closely monitored with several sets of previously published small cases confirming causal linkage,” said first author Stephen Keddie from the Department of Neuromuscular Disease.

“Our epidemiological study shows that there was no increased frequency of GBS during the first wave of COVID-19; instead, there was a reduction and therefore a causal link of COVID-19 to GBS cannot be made. , “he said in a university press release. .

Find out more

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on Guillain-Barré syndrome.

SOURCE: University College London, press release, December 13, 2020

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