Guillain-Barre syndrome (infectious polyneuritis) is an acute inflammation of the spinal and cranial nerves manifested by motor dysfunction that predominates over sensory dysfunction. The actual cause is unknown, but it is associated with a previously existing viral infection or vaccine administration. Neurologic symptoms include muscle cramps and paresthesia with weakness progressing to paralysis. The severity of the disease ranges from mild to severe with the course of the disease dependent on the degree of paralysis present at the peak of the condition. Recovery is usually complete and may take weeks or months. The disease most commonly occurs in children between 4 and 10 years of age. Treatment is symptom-dependent with hospitalization required in the acute phase of the disease to observe and intervene for respiratory or swallowing complications.
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