GBS – French Polio…FYI

July 14, 2007 at 7:53 am


Guillain Barré syndrome was discovered by the French physicians Jean-Alexandre Barré, Georges Guillain and Andre Strohl in the early 1900s following tests on soldiers returning from World War 1. Many cases of an identical condition had been described over the preceding 80 years (Landry’s Assending Parsalysis) but these neurologists identified one of the characterising features of the disease – the increased concentration of protein in the spinal fluid without evidence of inflammation. It was H. Draganesco and J. Claudion who, in 1927, first used the term Guillain-Barré syndrome. Since this paralyzing syndrome was discovered in France, it was often called “French Polio.” And that, Judy, is how GBS got the “French Polio” name. And, because it’s French, that’s why it’s pronounced Ghee-yan Bah-ray.

Warmest regards.