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No link between COVID and Guillain-Barré syndrome

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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY December 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) – There is no evidence of a link between COVID-19 and a serious neurological disease called Guillain-The Barré syndrome, say British researchers.

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

The exact cause is not known, but the syndrome often occurs after a gastroenteritis infection called Camplylobacter, with the immune system mistakenly attacking nerves instead of germs.

Previous research has found an increase in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome Zika virus epidemics 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 at University College London compared cases of Guillain-Barré in the UK between 2016 and 2019 to those in the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020.

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

The authors said their results contradict those of smaller studies and should reassure people.

“The possibility of SARS-CoV-2 causing a global peak in GBS has been eagerly watched with a number of small published case series already claiming a causal link,” said lead author Stephen Keddie of the Department of Diseases neuromuscular.

“Our epidemiological study shows that there was no increase in the incidence of GBS during the first wave of COVID-19; rather there was a decrease and therefore no causal link between COVID -19 and SGB cannot be established, ”he said in an academic press release. .

More information

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the United States has more on Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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

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