Which cranial nerve symptoms are typical in Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)?

Updated: May 04, 2018
  • Author: Michael T Andary, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Answer

Common complaints associated with cranial nerve involvement in GBS include the following:

  • Facial droop (may mimic Bell palsy)

  • Diplopias

  • Dysarthria

  • Dysphagia

  • Ophthalmoplegia

  • Pupillary disturbances

Most patients complain of paresthesias, numbness, or similar sensory changes. Paresthesias generally begin in the toes and fingertips, progressing upward but generally not extending beyond the wrists or ankles.

Pain associated with GBS is most severe in the shoulder girdle, back, buttocks, and thighs and may occur with even the slightest movements. The pain is often described as aching or throbbing in nature.


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