Guillain-Barré Syndrome

From Columbia University- "Tick paralysis is often confused with Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is clinically similar and much more common than tick paralysis. Unfortunately, electrophysiological tests are not useful in distinguishing between the two. In addition, there are no specific blood tests for tick paralysis, and conventional blood and spinal fluid studies are almost always normal.

Thus, correct diagnosis is contingent upon physician awareness. Any case involving sudden-onset ataxia and ascending paralysis, especially in a patient who lives in a tick-endemic area and who fits the demographic profile described above, should be considered suspicious for tick paralysis. Such patients should be searched immediately for ticks, particularly in body areas where the tick might not be immediately apparent, such as the scalp, hairline, ear canals or pubic region."

Borrelia miymaotoi has been reported to cause Guillain-Barre like symptoms also. More info on B. miyamotoi can be found HERE.

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BMJ Case Rep. 2015 Jun 25;2015. pii: bcr2014209080. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2014-209080.

Neuroborreliosis: the Guillain-Barré mimicker.

Tyagi N1, Maheswaran T1, Wimalaratna S2.

Author information

1Kettering General Hospital, Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK.

2Department of Neurology, Kettering General Hospital, Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK.


A 34-year-old woman presented to the medical admissions unit with progressive ascending weakness of her limbs and areflexia. Diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome was suspected and she was started on intravenous immunoglobulins. Owing to a poor initial response, further exploratory history revealed travel to the New Forest and a possible tick bite; subsequent investigations confirmed positive serology for antibodies against Borrelia. The patient's weakness improved with intravenous ceftriaxone for neuroborreliosis, a manifestation of Lyme disease. With inpatient neurorehabilitation, she made good recovery and was able to mobilise with a stick from being completely bed bound 6 weeks after completion of her antibiotics.

2015 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.



[PubMed - in process]

Link Here-

Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes