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Guillain‐Barré syndrome in the elderly

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The aim of the study was to analyze specific features of Guillain‐Barré syndrome (GBS) in old people. The study included 403 GBS patients (62% young [<60 years], 35% young‐old [60–80 years], and 3% old‐old [>80 years]). Diagnosis of GBS was made according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS criteria). Severe disability (GBS disability score of >3) at nadir was more common in old compared with young patients (p = 0.0001) as was mortality (9% vs. 2%, respectively). Acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy and hyponatremia were more common in old compared with young patients (12% vs. 6% and 27% vs. 18%, respectively, p = 0.04). A positive history for malignancy was more than three times more common in old than young patients (11% vs. 3%, respectively, p = 0.01). Disability on nadir was similar in young‐old and old‐old subjects with disability on discharge being more severe in old‐old (p = 0.04) suggesting slower recovery in this subgroup. Bulbar symptoms were more common in old‐old compared with young‐old (50% vs. 19%, respectively, p = 0.01). Comorbidities were present in virtually all old‐old patients compared with 66% of young‐old patients (p = 0.04). In conclusion, Elderly patients, and especially old‐old patients, with GBS have more severe disease with slower recovery than do younger patients.
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Keywords: Guillain‐Barré syndrome; diagnosis; disability; elderly; therapy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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