The disorder commonly called Guillain-Barré (ghee-yan bar-ray) syndrome is a rare illness that affects the peripheral nerves of the body. It can cause weakness and paralysis, as well as abnormal sensations. The syndrome occurs sporadically, that is, it cannot be predicted, and can occur at any age and to both sexes. It can vary greatly in severity from the mildest case, that may not even be brought to the doctors' attention, to a devastating illness with almost complete paralysis that brings a patient close to death. Because it is so rare, most of the public has never heard of the illness, or if they did, know little about it. Yet, for those effected, the illness can be severely disabling.
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