Guillain Barre Syndrome

Both IVIg and PE speed recovery; while they appear to be therapeutically equivalent,45 reports in the literature suggest that some subsets of patients may respond better to one or the other. Surprisingly, perhaps, there is no evidence that corticosteroids provide any benefit to GBS patients.

One therapeutic approach is to synthesize oligosaccharide ligands - truncated ganglioside epitopes - to neutralize or remove the autoantibodies either by systemic administration or extracorporeal immunoadsorption.

The only potential new drug in clinical stage development for GBS is 4-aminopyridine, a potassium channel blocker (see Figure 1 and Table 2); it is also being tested for MS (and spinal cord injury). By blocking potassium channels, 4-aminopyridine facilitates the generation and conduction of action potentials - both of which are hampered in demyelinated axons.

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