"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

COVID linked to higher risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome: study

October 19, 2023 – A big latest study links COVID-19 to an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Vaccination against COVID appeared to scale back the danger of GBS, a rare disease that may cause paralysis.

The results were published Wednesday from the American Academy of Neurology in its journal neurology.

Researchers analyzed health data from January 2021 to July 2022 from greater than 3 million people in Israel aged 16 and older who had not previously been diagnosed with GBS. They found that individuals with a recent COVID infection were six times more more likely to develop GBS in comparison with people with no recent infection. However, the disease stays very rare. Of the three million people within the study, 76 developed GBS.

The increased risk of GBS was measured inside 6 weeks of an individual becoming ailing with COVID. People who had recently received an mRNA-based COVID vaccine were 50% less more likely to develop GBS than individuals who had not recently been vaccinated.

“These results further highlight the benefits of ongoing vaccination programs with mRNA-based vaccines,” said study creator Anat Arbel, MD, of Lady Davis Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, in a Press release. “The results have important clinical and public implications.”

The authors noted that not all people within the study had COVID testing data. That means some individuals who were considered uninfected can have had SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but they’d no or only mild symptoms of COVID and didn’t take a test.

The explanation for GBS is unknown and there is no such thing as a cure. Symptoms begin with weakness of the hands and feet and might progress to paralysis. GBS might be life-threatening, but most individuals get well without further problems. The disease has been linked to a previous intestinal or respiratory infection.