Autonomic nervous system problems in GBS and possibility in CIDP.

December 3, 2006 at 11:22 am

Some 7 years ago Gareth Parry wrote in the Summer edition of the GBSFI newsletter about “Guillain-Barré Syndrome and the Autonomic Nervous System.”
It can be found at:[url][/url] It begins –

“The autonomic nervous system controls those functions of our bodies that we do not have to think about, such as heart beat, blood pressure, sweating, bowel and bladder function and sexual function. The weakness in GBS patients, including weakness of breathing muscles, so dominates the clinical picture that abnormalities of autonomic function often go unrecognized or are completely ignored. However, they significantly impact patient comfort during the early evolution of the illness. In addition, with the tremendous improvement in the care of ventilator dependent patients over recent years, abnormalities of cardiac autonomic function have come to constitute a major cause of death from GBS. Furthermore, these deaths are preventable with early recognition and appropriate treatment.”

From his article it seems clear that in GBS patients any dominant clinical picture of weakness of the breathing, and/or other muscles, may lead to abnormalities of autonomic function going unrecognised. They may then be ignored and left untreated. It seems to me that something of a similar situation may also be true for CIDP sufferers. I have been in contact with several people who may have been experiencing such difficulties. I met one yesterday!
Yet if any of these autonomic functions are in disarray the impact on the patient’s comfort is considerable. :rolleyes: