Guillain-Barresyndrome is a medical condition that is characterized by weakness andtingling. The condition starts in the legs before spreading to theupper parts of the body and the arms (Raghvenda, Tygi, Saxena &Yadav, 2011). However, there are a few cases in which Guillain-Barresyndrome starts in the face or arms. The syndrome occurs when theimmune system attacks the nerves. The spreading of tingling in otherparts of the body leads to paralysis.
Theexact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is not known. However, theoccurrence of this syndrome is associated with several infections,including influenza, HIV, Mycoplasma pneumonia, cytomegalovirus, andEpstein-Barr virus (Raghvenda etal.,2011). Recent cases of immunization and surgery can also trigger theonset of Guillain-Barre syndrome. This syndrome is associated with awide range of symptoms, including unsteady walking, weakness in thelimbs, difficulty with facial as well as eye movement, inability toclimb stairs, difficulty breathing, and inability to control thebowel function.
Occupationaltherapists who work with patients suffering from Guillain-Barresyndrome aim at helping their clients achieve maximum functionalityand recovery. Occupational therapists achieve these goals byidentifying the key skills that are affected by the syndrome. Forexample, the syndrome reduces the ability of a client to engage inmeaningful activities by limiting their capacity to walk, take itemupstairs, or lift equipments due to weaknesses in the lower and upperlimbs (Ashley, 2011). Occupational therapists may help their clientsby teaching them alternative ways of doing things, physical exercisesthat can strengthen their limbs as well as the muscles gradually, andequip them with skills that can enable them use assistive devices(Raghvenda etal.,2011).
Inconclusion, Guillain-Barre syndrome limits the ability of individualsto function by weakening their limbs. Interventions used byoccupational therapists should assist the clients regain occupationalskills (such as mobility) that were reduced by the syndrome.
Ashley,S. (2011). Inside Guillain-Barre syndrome: An occupational therapistsperspective. SouthAfrican Journal of Occupational Therapy,44 (3), 40-44.
Raghvenda,S., Tygi, S., Saxena, S. & Yadav, P. (2011). Management ofGuillain-barre syndrome-an autoimmune disorder: A review.InternationalJournal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology,1 (2), 722-728.