William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry hospitalized with Guillain-Barre syndrome

April 24th, 2009 - 12:41 am ICT by GD  

Former Bears star William (The Refrigerator) Perry has been hospitalized at the Aiken Regional medical Center in South Carolina with ailments related to the Guillain-Barré syndrome. He was diagnosed with the syndrome last year in June.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system works on the peripheral nervous system. In the first stage there are varying degrees of weakness or a tingling sensation in the legs. The weakness and the tingling sensation can then spread to the arms and the upper body and can aggravate to a point that leaves the patient almost completely paralyzed. At this stage the disorder becomes a medical emergency and can claim the victim’s life.

Guillain-Barré may occur a few days or weeks after the patient has shown symptoms of a respiratory or even a gastrointestinal infection caused by virus. In most cases the disorder may develop over a few hours or days and in rare cases it may take up to three weeks to a month.

There is no cure yet for Guillain-Barré syndrome. The most significant help administered to a victim of this disorder is to keep the body functioning while the nervous system recovers. This might require the victim to be placed on a respirator, a heart monitor or other supportive machines.

Guillain-Barré syndrome can be very disruptive because it develops suddenly and unexpectedly. For most people maximum weakness sets in within 2 weeks of the first symptoms. By the third week, most patients are completely weak and the recovery period could be a few weeks or a few years. But of the patients who do recover, almost 30% have some form of the disorder present in their bodies even after three years.

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