In response to the breaking news in Dallas this morning regarding Travis Frederick of the Dallas Cowboys, and his recent Guillain-Barré Syndrome diagnosis, the GBS|CIDP Foundation International issues the following statements, for those seeking clarity and more information.
GBS affects 1-2 in 100,000 individuals; it is an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral motor and sensory nerves characterized by rapid onset of numbness, weakness and often leads to paralysis. GBS can occur at any time without warning; it affects both genders and all ages and ethnic groups. With GBS, the body’s own immune system which usually fights infection, attacks itself causing damage to the peripheral nerve covering called myelin. It varies greatly in severity from mild cases of brief weakness to a devastating and life threatening illness with complete paralysis and need for respirator support. After the peak of damage, the nerves usually undergo a slow healing process and are remyelinated or repaired; during this process the patient regains strength and sensation. Care involves use of general supportive measures for the paralyzed patient, and also methods designed to speed recovery especially for those with major problems such as an inability to walk. Plasmapheresis (a blood “cleansing” procedure) and high dose intravenous immune globulins (IVIG) are often helpful to shorten the course of GBS. Recovery can take months to a year or more. Usually a neurologist with expertise in neuromuscular disorders is consulted for patient evaluation and management. – Kenneth Gorson, MD, Chairman, Global Medical Advisory Board
The GBS|CIDP Foundation International provides support services with a vision that every person affected by GBS, CIDP, MMN and variants has early access to the accurate diagnosis, affordable treatments and dependable support services. The Foundation serves the community through patient support with a global network of volunteers, healthcare providers, researchers and industry partners, through providing education for patients, care-givers, and clinicians, through funding research and advocating at the federal and state levels to influence informed decisions to benefit the patient community. The Foundation, founded in 1980 supports 40,000 members worldwide. GBS-CIDP.org – Lisa Butler, Executive Director
The GBS|CIDP Foundation International wishes Travis the very best in his recovery. More information can be found on this website or by calling the Foundation office at 610-667-0131.