Perry Hospitalized with Guillain-Barre Syndrome Complications
William Refrigerator Perry, 46, is reportedly listed in serious condition at Aiken Regional Medical Center in South Carolina where he is hospitalized with health problems related to his Guillain-Barré syndrome. The former Bears defensive tackle was diagnosed with the syndrome last June.
Guillain-Barré syndrome is rare. It is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. Often the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase to the point where the patient is almost totally paralyzed. When this happens, the disorder is life-threatening and is considered a medical emergency.
Guillain-Barré occurs a few days or weeks after the patient has had symptoms of a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection. The disorder usually develops over the course of hours or days, but may take up to 3 to 4 weeks.
There is no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome. The most critical part of the treatment for this syndrome consists of keeping the patient's body functioning during recovery of the nervous system. This can sometimes require placing the patient on a respirator, a heart monitor, or other machines that assist body function.
Guillain-Barré syndrome can be a devastating disorder because of its sudden and unexpected onset. Most people reach the stage of greatest weakness within the first 2 weeks after symptoms appear, and by the third week of the illness 90 percent of all patients are at their weakest. The recovery period may be as little as a few weeks or as long as a few years. About 30 percent of those with Guillain-Barré still have a residual weakness after 3 years. About 3 percent may suffer a relapse of muscle weakness and tingling sensations many years after the initial attack.
Here is a link on the front page where you can e-mail patients at the hospital by going to http://www.aikenregional.com/
The mailing address for the hospital for cards and letters is:
Aiken Regional Medical Centers
302 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29802-1117
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke